Reflection of Life

This series of paintings is based on the folklore “Duration of Life” from the book of Grimms first published in 1840. I adapted the story slightly to make the series of three work. The paintings divide life into three parts; the beginning, middle, and end. The mirrors in the center of each painting aim to including the viewer into the context of each painting. Whether the viewer is looking at themselves in the mirror, they are subconsciously interpreting the symbols surrounding them, or if the viewer is reading the symbols, they are subconsciously looking at themselves. Through communicating with semiotics, these paintings have triggered conversations regarding each theme (birth, love, work, death) and have viewers relating each topic to their own life.


The first painting is based on birth, love, youth, and energy. According to the folklore, the first third of our life consists of these themes. The colors are brighter and the green background represents growth and the pink accents represent energy.


The second painting in the series represents the middle stage of life where many people focus their lives on work and begin feeling more tired than they did during their youth. The donkeys in the painting represent hard work.


The last painting in the series is based on getting old and dying. The imagery within the painting shows a few objects one begins to depend on as one gets older. The old dog in the painting is a visual metaphor for old age. Throughout each painting, a tree was planted to express the stage of life. In this painting, it is wilting and has lost all of its leaves.

Aaron Gonzalez

Aaron Gonzalez is an illustrator.

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