Planet Icarus was inspired by the Greek myth of Icarus, a minor character who, in his quest for daring, defied his father’s orders and flew too close to the sun, ultimately dying. For Sharma, our planet, with its exponential technological advances, seems to be directly challenging the sun, vying for the most important role in our solar system. The wayward child in the center of the painting, depicted wandering off alone, like Icarus, towards the sun, represents our planet moving closer to a temperature of no return. The wandering child is also meant to convey the sense that some in our society are already planning their escape plans from earth, as they believe that our planet will soon become uninhabitable, while other “children” play, blissfully unaware.
The lighthouse–like the bulls, a recurring symbol in 2050, one of hope–stands parallel to the sun and the lone child. It acts as another light source, but one firmly rooted in the earth. It is a symbol of terrestrial possibility, grounding the child seeker and offering a path of coexistence alongside a lifegiving celestial body.
Sharma intended Planet Icarus to serve as a check for human civilization as it veers dangerously close to the sun and to challenge the notion that we should abandon our planet to colonize others.
Acrylic and methane monooxygenase on canvas
Size: 48 inch x 60 inch