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The Three Magi by Magnus Gjoen
The Three Magi by Magnus Gjoen

The Three Magi, 2014

Magnus Gjoen

These three gold-toothed skulls, embellished with tattoo-like images and floating on a dark background represent The Three Magi or The Three Wise Men. The gift they bear here is to remind viewers of the inevitability of death, essentially translating the symbolism of the 17th-century Dutch vanitas painting for modern times. Light from above seems to underscore the religious allusions and juxtaposition of light and dark, life and death. These three skulls somehow embody the fragility of priceless works of art while also symbolizing the transience of earthly goods and pursuits.

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