Acquired by American Legacy Fine Arts directly from the artist
"Boundary Waters, Minnesota, marks the line of separation between Canada and the US, and I see it as an appropriate setting for this painting. Not only is it home to wolves living in the wild, but the very concept of a feature of the natural Earth creating a geopolitical divide is fascinating. Does the Earth know that her various parts have been claimed by so many lifeforms for a statement of their ownership?
These wolves are meeting for the first time. Are they ready to play? Fight? Make baby wolves? So many possibilities. But their first action is to respectfully check each other out, honoring the individual power of themselves and the other. This is how life has been allowed to blossom and succeed on the planet. If the first response was always to attack and kill each other, the species would soon die out. Their tendency towards cooperation, or at least coexistence, is the reason they still exist and has been proven to outweigh the also-natural tendency towards separation and violence simply for the sake of tribalism.
Being a human is hard and it’s a lot of work for us to think our way through the constant balancing acts that are required to live in society. Aside from any political themes that this idea suggests, my intention here goes deeper and into visual explorations of my own experience of how it is for me when I feel connected to the world around me. It simply feels healthy and right. Defensiveness, though sometimes necessary, is difficult and saps my energy. Choosing only necessary battles and “letting many things pass without being duped” (Lao Tzu) frees me to indulge in curiosity and explore the beautiful and fulfilling things in this world." - Julie Bell
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