Man On Fire

Man on Fire

Max Boyla

My painting "Man on Fire" expresses the values of health; mental, physical and spiritual. 

The image is a paradox. A man on fire, standing by a pond or lake is surrounded by snowfall, among the beauty of nature. There appears to be no logical reason for the spontaneous combustion of the figure, creating a tense and surreal atmosphere.

If a man was on fire, why would he be standing calmly when he has the capacity to save himself? This can be seen as a surreal and symbolic metaphor of one’s health; able to see the problems at hand but incapable of addressing them. Men in particular have a tendency to ignore problems when it comes to their health and wellbeing, choosing not to talk to doctors and loved ones until things worsen. 

Part of the paradox in my painting is that the figure may not be able to see or understand his own reality as the details of the face are distorted and the surroundings begin to merge into abstraction. 

Perhaps the figure can see and understand the situation fully, but has simply chosen to bask in the bittersweet passing of his life, reflecting and accepting his fate. 

(Man on Fire, Oil on Canvas, 89x69cm)