This painting examines how belief systems and superstition relate to the production of knowledge. The metal of the coins, which have presumably been tossed into the fountain with the hopes of granting a wish, simultaneously provide water purification for the surrounding ecosystem.

① Artwork:

Wishing Well

This painting examines how belief systems and superstition relate to the production of knowledge. One theory of human culture postulates that early myths about throwing silver and copper coins into wishing wells became popular because these activities made the water safer to drink. This act likely prevented bacterial infections in the practitioners, making them appear healthier and more prosperous—regardless of whether these results were their intention or not, or whether they had any knowledge of the biocidal properties of metal.

Robinson’s paintings turn foundational power structures on their head through the use of humor, absurdity and irony. The artist's compositions undermine prevailing ideas about anthropocentrism, or the belief that human beings are the center of the universe—an idea proliferated by Western painting and especially works in the art historical canon. Robinson's paintings frequently depict forest-like settings where human-made structures such as towers are fantastically constructed out of women, animals and inanimate objects. At times, the compositions resemble the characters in "Town Musicians of Bremen"—a popular German fairy tale in which aging domestic animals run away from their overbearing masters.


37 inches
48 inches

③ Artist:

Johanna Robinson

Johanna Robinson’s paintings employ humor, absurdity and irony to undermine anthropocentrism—or the belief in the centrality of human beings and their experience, an idea proliferated by the Western art canon. The artist’s work, connected to a long lineage of women surrealist and symbolist painters, relies on imagination as a source for truth-seeking and world-building. Robinson’s compositions turn foundational power structures on their head, resembling popular fairy tales where animals escape their overbearing masters.

Johanna Robinson:
Wishing Well, 2022
Oil and cheesecloth on canvas
48.0 × 37.0 inches /