Thoughts on ‘The Fall’ by Demi

Demi’s luminous painting “The Fall” is a masterpiece of profound artistic achievement. Bejeweled with fruit that glows like rubies, Demi’s shimmering apple tree becomes a symbol of life, knowledge, renewal, immortality, temptation, and the fall.

 It is a portrait of the artist’s consciousness. “I only paint children…I do not paint reality. I paint the child that reality gave me…” And since childhood, reality has given Demi an epic visual poem about life and loss, and expectations and fears. Like the enchantment of a dream, “The Fall” reveals a rarified view of the way life inspires and teaches us. 

Ladders radiate from Demi’s apple tree. Perhaps they are a biblical allusion to Jacob’s Ladder (Genesis 28:10-19), a bridge between earth and heaven, and life and death. The ladders make the orchard setting evoke the Garden of Eden, a place of abundant life from which the artist’s spirit draws. We see curious children with huge magnifying glasses exploring the world and searching for answers. Demi’s fecund, blossoming tree becomes a vessel of meaning and wisdom, expressing the inexpressible, exploring the depths of human psyche and the profound connection between the human spirit and the natural world. 

 “The Fall” is also a beautiful fairytale. Demi’s visionary apple tree records a rich and long and storied life. We see Demi’s labyrinth of life experiences, family scenes, parties, friends, moons, monsters and masks. In the center, a child tumbles downward, like one of God’s fallen angels. Or is this Icarus from Ovid’s Metamorphose, plummeting from the sky after flying too close to the sun? And, beneath the tree, as if in a winter sleep, this same child reclines and dreams.

Searching, magnified eyes watch over her. We see the moon keeping her eye on the passage of life, and guiding us through states of awareness, as well as fatigue and drowsiness. We can smell the heady perfume of apples, sense the strangeness of the world, and embrace the life depicted here. 

 Never before exhibited, “The Fall” is one of three important large works completed by the artist between 2018 and 2020. Its two companion paintings are “Light versus Darkness” (private collection), and “Big Storm” in the permanent collection of the Art Museum of the Americas of the Organization of American States, Washington D.C.

Wendy M. Blazier
Miami, Florida. May 2024.
Wendy M. Blazier is an art historian, published writer, lecturer and independent curator. Born in Detroit, Michigan, Ms. Blazier served as Executive Director and Curator at the Art and Culture Center of Hollywood, Florida 1979-1995 and as Senior Curator at the Boca Raton Museum of Art, Boca Raton, Florida 2001-2012.