Underwater Tears, painting, 2010
Upon entering Dina Shenhav's aquatic world, one experiences joy and elation. The vivid colors and variety of fish moving in different directions convey the impression of an underwater carnival, a merry, never-ending event. Upon closer observation, however, the visitor realizes that he has been misled, discovering that all the fish are weeping. The idea of a crying fish is a perplexing one, because human beings are the only living creatures that shed tears in response to their feelings.
The work was inspired by the artist's previous visit, to the underground aquarium at the Berlin Zoo. Observing the seemingly cheerful universe of the fish, she began to wonder: Did they realize that they were prisoners, deprived of the unlimited freedom they enjoyed in nature? Did they feel sad for the lost world they left behind? And even if they did, who could tell- since their tears would have gone unnoticed underwater?