Rob Moler - Theologica (Religion)


Name of Artwork | THEOLOGICA (Religion)

Technique | Oil painting on cradled panel

Year of creation | 2016

Size | 60 x 91 x 5 cm (not framed)

Price | 4300 

One of a kind

Shipping: From 150 €, additional fees may apply

Rob Moler:

"When creating the composition for THEOLOGICA, I struggled with how to visually symbolize the oppressive nature of organized religion. Stumbling across a photo of a bonsai tree online, I knew at once that I had found what I had been searching for. The bonsai tree was the perfect symbol of religious oppression, especially in relation to its history regarding LGBTQIA+ individuals. Ancient in its origin, bonsai forces the natural to become unnatural by constantly pruning a plant’s roots and branches to conform to unrealistic expectations. The severely stunted tree lives its entire life in a shallow, highly controlled environment. Referencing the biblical tree in the Garden of Eden, THEOLOGICA is my response to religion’s determination to remake man in its own image. It fashions its creation through the tools of ridicule, guilt and fear. 

Male figures, forming the bonsai’s trunk, writhe in the fiery glow of a hellish space while hidden human eyes watch in judgement. Circular patterns, branded into the heated background, remind viewers of the seemingly endless tradition of circular thinking enforced by the religious. A serpent, the scapegoat of religion, materializes from amongst the tree’s leaves, planning its attack on the unwary. Symbols of separation (the pruning shears) and vanity (the skull) are juxtaposed with symbols

of memory (the ceramic elephant) and secrecy (the lock & key). My hope is that viewers will make cognitive connections between these visual symbols and discover personal meaning to guide their own journeys".