Thursday, January 8, 2009

Art: Separated at Birth

While seated at a doctor's appointment the Pink Cowboy overheard a lively conversation between two men. They were talking about the follies of modern art, specifically about some pieces of monumental modern sculptures outside the building. "I don't see the point in it, I don't understand it, I mean, anybody could have done that...and they call it art? Well I just remembered good old jolly St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) stating that the one thing he was grateful for was that he understood EVERYTHING he ever read. I can only claim to understand 34.5% of everything I read...and that's during the course of a caffeine binge. Art has always been under appreciated by many. To each his own. But just because you do not understand something does not mean that it will not reveal itself to you at some time or another. You see, art for me is always human, always changing. Art is a form of intelligence that goes beyond language and description to foray into the psychological and emotional spheres of experience. Oh dear, that sounds quite lofty, but the point I am trying to make is that art is a suggestion; more than often a persuasion that dares you to look beyond the obvious and the commonplace.

Take these two pieces as examples. One is the famous statue of Apollo Belvedere of classical antiquity fame and the other is a photo I took of Piece No.3 Vertebrae (1968) by Henry Moore (1898-1986) at The Nasher Museum of Sculpture in Dallas. I see a pair of twins. Mind you, The Pink Cowboy has notions all of his own. That is the way it reveals to me. O.K, they are not identical twins but they carry the same DNA. I would imagine that any talented sculptor could render reliable copies of them. But that is only technique. What about originality, composition, creativity and vision? I did not dare to tell my fellow denizens at the doctor's of my admiration of modern sculpture, I was not invited into the conversation. But I wish I was part of THAT very important conversation if only to convey the immense pleasure I have derived from the contemplation and study of art. Many times art has saved me from myself in the form of my own stubborn prejudices and utter ignorance about many aspects of the human condition. When I fill my mind with art-thoughts I feel I am in communion with the eternal aspect of humanity. Art is a wondrous teacher and ally if you give it a chance. Art articulates reality and being in such a way that it elevates human expression into a universally UNDERSTOOD language.