At the root of Daniel Aligaen’s new body of work is the hypnotic image of the vesica piscis—the almond shape formed by two circles with similar radius intersecting in such a way that the center of each circle lies at the circumference of the other.
Vesica piscis, or the Fish Bladder, it seems, is at the root of everything in the universe. It is also believed to represent, among numerous sacred figures, the Divine Feminine, the Tree of Life, and Jesus Christ. This symbolic power charges up Aligaen’s new exhibition of largely pen-and-ink drawings depicting life, death, and life after death.
Going beyond arcana, Aligaen provides an intimate meditation on the individual’s location in the cosmos, in the unending and ever-evolving triangle of creation, preservation, and destruction, like the infinitesimal dot that serves as atom, or seed, in the complex make-up of animals, plants, and practically all of earth’s lovely creatures.
Devoid of color, we are made to look more closely in this composition, the minutiae of details, the bare frames and builds most often overlooked and overwhelmed in the visual rush of colors. It is like looking at a microscope—a completely wonderful new world is revealed in a vessel that we would normally dismiss as unable to contain it.