Chagall often painted the fabled cow flying over the moon, but as a child, I loved that story decades before being aware of Chagall’s interpretations. Maybe I pictured my own family’s cow levitating (surely an odd sight!), or the herds of cows from dairies surrounding my home all leaping over the moon and landing in the local pond with a big splash, scaring all the horned pout. Whatever the sources were for this painting, the key consideration for me is: so where did the cow end up, and what did she look like when she arrived?
One answer is my newest painting from the Cosmos Series, On Finding the Bovine Constellation. If the cow managed to successfully fly over the moon and not fall back to earth, then she must have achieved escape velocity. The physics of that achievement doesn’t concern me as much as where did she go? In my imagination she’s been flying for a long time, perhaps well beyond our part of the solar system. She may have transformed into a constellation, and if so, would she be known as the Bovine Constellation? I think my own brown and white Miss Bossy would have liked that outcome. Do you see her, in the upper left of the painting, heading toward two galaxies? An enlarged detail is below. Ciao!