I and the Village is a significant painting by Marc Chagall, which depicts his recollections of his childhood in Vitebsk, Russia. The painting was created one year later after he had moved to Paris and joined the La Ruche artistic community. The artist’s use of Cubism’s techniques creates an abstract narrative self-portrait based on Eastern European folktales.
The painting has five distinct sections that represent memories from Chagall’s past through vibrant colors and whimsical shapes. This cubist fairy tale painting offers a glimpse into the mutual relationship between humans, animals, and plants. The balance of reality and imagination in this self-portrait showcases his unique style while reflecting on Jewish customs he witnessed growing up outside Vitebsk.
Chagall uses distorted perspective by placing objects upside down to portray the chaos that resonated with him as both friendly but also unsettling; however, it is unlike anything seen before. His typically unnatural color choices bring life to his recollection almost like pages from an illustrated storybook lifted off the page onto canvas much like other artists’ image-based works such as Van Gogh’s “Starry Night.” “I And The Village” is currently exhibited at New York City Museum of Modern Art for others to see how art can be representative of memory fused with creative license explored through individual emotions prompting works both beautiful but personal like this.