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Sunday, April 26, 2015
Mad Dr Frankenstein in the Dreaded House of Art
The principle of life, feeling, thought, and action in humans, regarded as a distinct entity separate from the body, and commonly held to be separable in existence from the body; the spiritual part of humans as distinct from the physical part.
It is always amazing to me when a piece of art takes on its own life. Since I've never done small pieces of art, I get to watch a slow progression that takes place over days, weeks and months. The piece of art remains inert and inanimate for a long time then one day it reaches a tipping point where the whole piece begins to breath.
There is an electric shock that runs through me at that moment. I feel like Dr Frankenstein. I want to shout "Its Alive!!!!" and laugh with insanity. But I restrain myself and keep my dignity (what little I have).
But for many artists I talk with, their work is truly alive. It is more than just paint on a canvas. It takes on a life of its own. And while it may not be a body of flesh, there is a soul contained within it.
So I wonder sometimes just how much of our own spirit we give over to our art. Is that life spark a part of us? Or is any piece of art just another object like an I-Phone or a hunk of cheese? There are definitely groups that believes both ways.
The verdict is still out for me. But when I look at a great work of art in a museum, I'd swear there is still a spark of the original creator within it. Anyone whose gazed at the Mona Lisa knows its not just the eyes that draw people, but something deeper. We don't like to talk about, so we blame it on the eyes. But its there.
I can't help but think that a piece of art where the artist spends months and sometimes years creating, does not in some way hold his/her original essence.
Its not quantifiable. A scientist couldn't read it. But still....
I suppose for some artists this is way to metaphysical. Its just a piece of canvas with paint on it! Or is it? If parents adopt a child and place all their love and caring into that child from the very beginning of its life, then that child in some way holds the spark of the spirit of mother and father. Why is it such a stretch to believe that we cannot transfer that spark to something that does not live and breath?
I have said before that art is an extension of who I am into a future where my physical self cannot go. So why is it so far fetched that part of the spark of life also goes on within that work?
The next time you visit a museum or a gallery, see what else you can sense in each piece you look at. In most you probably won't sense a thing, but I challenge you that there will be that one piece that stands out for you and speaks. Some say that as just the artists skills, but I would like to believe its something deeper, something that your kindred soul hears deep down inside and resonates with.
Then again I may just be some mad artist with a paintbrush and a wild imagination.
What are your thoughts?