The Enchanted Lamp is a work which necessitates the audience to come closer and look deeper into it. At the first glance, it looks like a simple painting of a lamp as its main protagonist but as one attempts a closer inspection, you can start to catch a glimpse of the dazzling colors which speckle throughout the work and create a story for its audience. The scene is set at dawn with the windows dark and colors shimmering from the afterglow of the sunset as the lamp stands still in the center with a sole lightbulb shining mightily to brighten the whole scene. A closer look and the viewer can identify the benevolent fungi and mushroom adorning the lamp, telling a tale of forgotten time and perhaps serving as the companions to the lone beacon of light. The scene is surrealistic and the illuminating pastel color palette adds to the somber and mystifying scene. There is mystery hidden for the viewers, a question about the existence and past of the lamp, perhaps even regarding the ownership of the lamp. The artist uses numerous different brushstrokes to create a dynamic light quality to reveal the rays of light illuminating the painting. The faint brushstrokes combined with the heaviness of the paint on canvas, creates a strong sense of depth. The structural shape of the lamp, the colorful mushrooms and the arcane light quality all come together to create a spectacularly theatrical scene of the mundane object, which one cannot look into enough.
Held by creator
Oil on Canvas
Anika Goel, “Enchanted Lamp,” KU Libraries Exhibits, accessed December 5, 2023, https://exhibits.lib.ku.edu/items/show/8945.