Drip. Drip...the droplets echoing through your mind, with each impact upon your eye burning more and more. You look up through the bright light wondering why this is being done to you. What did you do to deserve this and why? As time goes forward, your torment continues; time dilated as much as your eyes have under each burning chemical drip. You open your mouth to plead your captives to stop; to show mercy just once so that you can have a reprieve. Alas, as you open your mouth to protest, silence is all that is heard. For a moment, you question how you got here and what steps led to this. Every so often a new test would be brought before you. Strange pastes and materials dabbed upon your lips and harsh chemicals brushed upon your cheeks. You sneeze and choke, but there's no breaks in between this torment. Your eyes cry pained tears...tears no longer blended from the chemicals upon them, but now from the sadness of being trapped; of never knowing if you'll ever be free...
....of never knowing whether or not this is something you deserve.
Suddenly the lights of the room begin to blend about you, swirling in a vortex as the world silently dims about you. In a flash your vision goes dark, before slowly returning. You see an eye that isn't your own and you back up; freed from you former shackles. But its when your eyes adjust that you understand the magnitude of what you've witnessed. You've looked upon the eyes of another, captured in such a way they feel to be undeserved. The small rabbit gazes back at you, as its silent cries cut through your mind. BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
, drawn by pen-tacular-artist, presents us with a visual commentary that critiques the state of animal testing; reflected through the duality between us and them.
To begin with the concept is easily one of the most striking features about this image. Each detail of the woman's face is excellently sketched. The subtle reflections upon her irises and pained tears show an excellently honed level of penmanship and artistic skill. The pained veins that are prominently featured on the right eye are an equally impressive analogue to the bloodshot appearance of a real eye. Each wisp and strand of hair is fully realized and drapes subtly over the subject's face representing the subdued and punishing atmosphere of the composition. Subtle shadows sketching on the face and background do wonders for compositional depth in the image. It's almost as if you're watching all of these events unfurl before you behind a one-way glass; feeling the crushing emotional weight from each drop, as if they too are in the same position as the subjects being feature. The rabbits secured in the background are a great display of duality; representing the helpless of the animal as they undergo each and every single test, whereas the human represents the the saddened empathy of one who knows deep down there's only so much they can do to help the creatures in need. Their pain is shared; a constant source of understanding and sympathy from her to them.
While there is quite a lot of good that's in this piece, I feel there are a few things that could be improved should there be a revisit of this image in the future. For one thing, while the subtle shadows and shading on the person are nicely implemented, I feel as though adding more emphasis on the simulated lighting could do wonders for the atmosphere. Concentrating the contrast of a brighter light source could make the image that much more crushing and oppressive. The female subject being harshly observed by a cold, unfeeling beam that pierces her eyes as well. In addition, some of the shading could be a bit more pronounced on the left side of the face, as the shadow on the nose could be a little darker and defined, bringing out that extra dimension of depth to the sketch that could really bring it up that much more.
However, even without these points, the image still stands strongly on its own. The detailing alone is a definite display of the artist's skill and each shade and powerful usage of subtle shadows combined with this detail is a definite spectacle. However, what will most likely stay within the mind of the viewer is the overall message. The knowledge that there are those that are being held against their will with no regard for their safety. At times we've observed this in many forms in our lives, personally or otherwise, but this image put that very situation right before you, engraving each and every stinging motion in your mind. With that, this piece is a testament to the artist and their dedication to their craft. Excellent work pen-tacular!