Sunday, December 10, 2006
art and life, life and art
i find myself intentifying a lot more with art lately. i have never been artistic. the only instrument i ever played was the clarinet (only because we had to take one year of music and it was the only instrument we had in the house). i took a few art classes in high school, but mostly because they were chill (and the teacher was cute). but over the last year or two my love of art has grown. i've started playing the guitar on a regular basis. i've found great appreciation for photography. and, i've even thought about picking up a paintbrush (!).
i just returned from vienna. one of the great things about vienna is the multitude of art galleries and museums. yesterday we spent a couple hours at the albertina. they were hosting a picasso exhibit. ever since i saw picasso in dc in '98, i have loved his art. this particular exhibit was from the last decade of his life. probably a little too much anatomy for my taste, but still enjoyable.
while picasso was the draw, i was super impressed by two other artists that we saw. one famous, one not-so-famous. the famous one is andy warhol. we've all seen his pop art pictures, but to see them close up and to see the texture and the layering he used was quite impressive. posters and prints fail to do his work justice.
the other artist is a man by the name of franz gertsch. he is "famous" for his woodcuts. woodcut is where you take a piece of wood and carve your image into the wood. you then roll paint onto the wood, lay canvas or paper over the top of the wood and allow the paint to display your image onto the canvas. its like a big stamp. what makes gertsch's art so amazing is that his pieces are about 30x20 feet. they were massive. the above picture can't truly capture the unbelievable detail that went into making these woodcuts.
but, while standing in the midst of four of these enormous woodcuts and marvelling about how amazing art is, this Chilean boy (maybe 1 year old) caught my attention. his parents were letting him crawl around and we made eye contact. i waved. he gooed. i waved again. he gooed and crawled towards me. i hunched down, waved again. he gooed again and crawled closer. he came right to me. i grabbed him and held him so he was standing. he touched my beard. we "talked". he tried to break my bracelets. his mom came over. told me his name was tomas and that he'd never seen a beard before (apparently they don't have those in chile). we pried the bracelets from his kung-fu grip. we "talked" some more. i gave him back to his mom. we connected.
as i stood amidst all this wonderful art. i came face to face with true art.
i thought a lot about life and art for the rest of the day. how we are God's masterpiece. we are created in his image. he is beauty and somehow we are that beauty personified.
i thought about tomas. about how life connects. about how for five minutes in vienna a chilean baby and a 28-year old dreaded american connected.
life is art.
tomas is art.
*side note: in an effort to display some of my photography and to make it to 100 posts by my two-year blogiversary, i will be going on a post explosion over the next five days. so, enjoy.