What does it mean to be brave?

What does it mean to be brave?

To be brave is to summon courage in the face of fear, adversity, or uncertainty. It's the strength to confront challenges, whether external or within oneself, with resilience and determination. Bravery often involves stepping outside one's comfort zone, standing up for what is right, and facing the unknown with a spirit of conviction. Ultimately, being brave is a deeply personal journey of overcoming obstacles, embracing vulnerability, and striving for authenticity in the pursuit of growth and positive change.

This is the spirit I wanted to instill in this painting, “Be Brave”.

The subject is a snap-shot of a creepy, whirling dance, inspired by the “Dance Macabre” iconography. Demons, fantastic creatures, animals and humans run and dance together representing the eternal cycle of Life and Death in its beauty, energy and dread. But the painting also refers to another kind of race: the one that we all run against ourselves. Inside all of us there is light and dark and it takes an immense courage to face them.

It takes bravery and humility to stand up for ourselves in a balanced way and to be authentic no matter what people around will be thinking about.

In the midst of light and dark within, the painting calls for immense courage to confront our inner dichotomies. It stands as a testament to the bravery and humility required to authentically navigate the intricate dance of self-discovery. Amidst the symbolic zebras and pink flamingos, this artwork challenges us to embrace authenticity, acknowledging the profound beauty that arises when we confront the depths within.

Many other symbols are embedded in this painting.
Scroll down to discover them


This zebra is gentle, good-natured but determined. She has five legs because I believe kindness gives you a kick in the engine, like having one leg more. To achieve your goals you do not need to compete with others, just do you thing, day by day.
You will get there. 


Death is our companion in this Life,  It is an inseparable part of Life. Without it, Life would not be as Life is the absence of Death and Death the absence of Life.
Death is an unknowable status since who gets to know it cannot come back to tell us what they saw. So, we cannot know it. It does not mean that we will not.





Flamingos represent BEAUTY, ELEGANCE, FULFILLMENT. Almost everyone loves them and they do not mind genuinely showing off and sharing their good looking appearance.  No low-profile for these amazing birds that are bold, powerful and attractive.






Novelties we don’t quite understand scare us and make us chicken out from the social stage. Often we end up criticizing and hating what is new that we perceive as disgusting, overbearing, bold.
Maybe there is beauty in it but our eyes cannot see it.






The fish for me represents our subconscious mind, the most hidden and deepest part of our brain. Inaccessible, secret, apparently silent but always present. More than often runs the game, is responsible for our choices and reactions. It is by your side, but not always in a helpful way: your personal charismatic golden fish in a bowl. 





The running nymph represents the wilderness inside our soul. It’s everything we cannot domesticate, everything we don’t like of ourself and others. Besides our efforts of choking it, the wild nymph always survives and must be accepted. She is beautiful and fierce, cannot be controlled. That’s why it’s the most scary character in this painting. 





All the possible monsters run the race for Life. They are our fears, our projections, our obsessions. This has always been the role of the monster: scaring us away from something dangerous, in order to keep us alive. Maybe unhappy but safe. Sometimes they are right, sometimes they are not.

But listening to them is always the right thing to do. 




The goose is an aggressive animal, with a strong personality. Sometimes related to shallowness and frivolity, I see it more as a high achiever, determined, adamant. The goose is bold and egocentric, ambitious, tenacious. I wouldn’t get in her way. 





Fragile but strong. This butterfly to me symbolizes faith and hope.She leads the way in the darkness, even if she cannot see. Just goes ahead, with no hesitation, at an assertive pace. She does not care about the other characters involved. She knows she is the weakest but this awareness does not stop her. She will never fade in the dark, she will proceed relentless as long as there is a road and even when there is not. 






A key pops out of a lock installed in the painting symbolizing our conscious choice: being brave enough to participate in this carousel, trying to do our best. Bravery is not absence of fear but it is the choice you make regardless your fears. 

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