The King and Queen of Hearts Canvas by Bert Monterona
According to its artist Bert Monterona, the subject of this piece is as challenging to articulate in art as it is in words.
The King and Queen of Hearts are the backdrops of this artwork, each representing disparate and changing roles. Although a playing card was the inspiration for this design, the subject is no game. For the artist, divorce is not only the termination of a marital union; it is the dissolution of bonds that have developed far beyond the relationship. For a peace activist, having a failing marriage is an excruciating ordeal. His artwork has traditionally depicted the plight of others, but this work is a much more personal one. Leading by example is no longer surreal for him, as he failed to maintain his marriage. As with all his works, there is a lot of symbolism here. The sword on the left displays justice, peace, and gender inequality symbols. The broken heart is a recurring motif, as is the concept of elusive peace. This work was a considerable challenge for him.
Ideally, the artist thought that marriage was for life and that people got married and stayed together for better or worse. But later accepted that marriages sometimes end. This painting was his indulgence – helping him face one of life’s most enormous obstacles. He realized that people make mistakes and still have time to correct their ways, learn and move on, and be the best version of themselves. From his private journey of personal struggle, he returned to the broader world of environmental concerns with even more determination.
The King and Queen of Hurts (2011) Acrylic on Canvas, 200x200cm All-Out Peace Not War Exhibition by Bert Monterona