June 1, 2012

A little bit of beauty goes a long way....

Man's drive to create and communicate is also a drive to surround oneself with beauty and harmony. For me beauty is not decorative, which implies it is superfluous,  but often times decoration is beautiful. An action, a sound, even a smell can convey beauty. Beauty is infinite, it can transcend space and time. 

I can recount an experience where art had an effect on me similar to stendhal syndrome. I love visiting art galleries in my travels. I was with a friend in NY at a museum. Enjoying walking through the galleries, I turned the corner and it was if a magnet dragged me toward a particular work by El Greco. I had not really seen his work or been a big fan. I am not a Christian and am not drawn to this particular iconography, however on this day, this image of Jesus Christ being lowered from the cross captured me and wrapped around me like a warm embrace. This image of suffering was so beautiful.

I was glued to the piece. It had felt that I had transcended time into some sort of divine space. I felt myself beginning to tear as happiness filled my entire being. It was as if I had traveled back in time to the 1500's and I was the paint on his brush being put on the canvas. It was like a brain aneurysm, each stroke was made by the artist tickled my brain, like I was there at the moment it was created, like I was paint on the end of his brush.

A friend saw me frozen there gazing, tearing up. I vaguely remember him saying "I'll leave you two alone". I cant say for sure if I was there for 2 seconds or two years, it felt as if a lifetime had passed. He said it was 20 minutes. I'm amazed if the gaze can be kept for two. This piece had me riveted, not because of its subject, not because of its color, not even the powerful application of paint, but because of its entire beauty, I was entirely captivated.  

When I returned home I had to seek out the image again. I looked at a reproduction and it wasn't the same. I had to experience it in person. And that is one of the things about art, it is a think, almost living, a copy or print is not entirely the same as the real thing.This work did what beauty is supposed to do. It change me and my life forever in a positive way. That is what I hope I can accomplish as an artist.

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