When she was little, my niece poured all her creativity into playing with the My Little Pony dolls. She play-acted the issues and dreams of her world and her understanding of it through them.
These ponies fulfilled the role of art in her life as they have for at least a generation of young girls. The My Little Pony vehicle communicates so effectively that we fail to recognize it as talismanic. In this way the My Little Pony product-line represents art as it is actually consumed in our era in the same way that, say, a Titian image was unquestioningly, vitally relevant during the Italian Renaissance.
My niece is unhesitatingly loving, like most children. Once, at age four, she stared wistfully out the window lamenting from her car seat: I wish there was no pollution. She hassles her parents for drinking coffee because she learned the rainforest is being cut down to make way for coffee plantations.
All the while, she is lavishing her creative energy upon the My Little Pony world. It is the incubator of her imagination the arena for constructing a strategy as to how she is going to take action in the larger world, correct its ills and express herself. Her free play rallies a charge into the future just like Joan of Arc leading her army to victory.
This process in which she is engaged rejecting the worlds despoliation and dreaming of a better, more just, more sensible one seems the very thing required to save us from ourselves. This painting pays tribute to Innocence as Power.
Selected Preparatory Studies: