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  • David Gyscek

Proverbs & figures

I recently came upon an image of a painting by Pieter Bruegel the Elder, called Twelve Proverbs (ca. 1558-60) — I’ll have to return to decipher the proverbs being depicted here (visual glossary that may help found here:

It has inspired me to consider reintroducing the figure  into my work and thinking and also, to reconsider the old wisdom found in proverbs. The figure had been an essential element in my work for… mostly forever, until relatively recently. It may  be time to bring it back in some fashion.

Since I am in Colombia, it seems like a good idea to research local proverbs and see if an sparks fly:

Proverbial Wisdom from Colombia

  1. The old dog barks while he is sitting down.

  2. Better to beg forgiveness than to ask permission.

  3. Who is always sad, does not even have fun when drunk.

  4. Poverty does not destroy virtue nor wealth bestow it.

  5. There is no better friend than a burden.

  6. All fear has much imagination and little talent.

  7. He who overcomes his passions overcomes his greatest enemies.

  8. Even the candle seller dies in the dark.

  9. When force is imposed, the law is a joke.

  10. To love and be wise is impossible.

  11. It’s better to be the pot than the lid

  12. Suit the behavior to the occasion.

  13. He who gives away his belongings, slowly becomes a beggar.

  14. Clean hands offend no one.

  15. Instruction in youth is like engraving in stones.

  16. The person who recognizes his major mistakes is on the road to wisdom.

  17. A lame man always speaks when it’s time to run.

  18. Take the bull by the horns and the man at his word.

  19. See and believe, and in order not to make a mistake, touch.

  20. Where there are stones the brook babbles.

  21. The fish dies from the head.

And in Spanish w/English translations:

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