Daniloff’s art is intoxicating – with or without color. Fanciful and dark, yet bright and hyper-realistic. It is art that tells a story without words.
Both of the these compositions depict Judith pausing before the decapitation of Holofernes. As the couple reposes amidst the fruitful bounty of a feast, Holofernes sleeps peaceful. His skin is sun-baked and muscled – the picture of power – but he has abandoned his machismo to blissful dreams. Smiling through slumber like a child. He has also abandoned his self-protective instincts as he curls himself into Judith’s lap and rests his hand affectionately on her arm. One could almost feel pity for his vulnerability.
And Judith is inscrutable. Blank but poised. Planning how to sever his neck, plotting where to place the blade. At the same time peaceful. Enigmatic, a contradiction – with her head inclined in a thoughtful, affectionate gaze. Without the sword, it might appear she is holding a lover or a baby.
But that is the lure: the lack of knowing what is going through Judith’s mind. Although we know how the story ends, this is the moment that could change everything.
Unless … her affectionate gaze is actually being bestowed on the sword.