Gender equality is a principle that is a raging issue in the world today that is yet to reach a resolution. The root cause of inequality sometimes stems from religious beliefs, and this is the primary focus of this piece. In order to highlight the importance of faith driving social change, Virtosu has chosen to incorporate the Baha’i faith into his work and create a painting that pays tribute to the notion of gender equality. The Baha’i sternly believe in this important ideal and have molded a fundamental principle based on the concept of gender equality.
The dark, mysterious and hypnotic background of this piece creates a sense of primeval dread, almost indicative of the mood of an ancient ritual unfolding in real time. The central figures of this piece include two figures, the faces of whom are firmly pressed against one another in a confrontational style. Based on the title, it is easy to assume that both figures have to be Baha’i women, but it is evident that only the figure on the right is that of a woman, aggressively attempting to maintain its position and stance. While the masculine figure on the left has a larger skull and dawns a hostile expression, the one on the right is showing wearing an ear ring and has a feminine presence that is unmistakable.
The artist is attempting to denote the struggle experienced by women in the Baha’i faith, fighting to maintain their equality despite it being deemed a fundamental principle of their religion. The disconnect present between religious ideals and the modern interpretation of such values is beautifully depicted by Virtosu in this timely and poignant piece.