The day Notre Dame burned, I cried. It wasn't for the religious implications of the fire, but for the artistic implications. To lose such an amazing structure and all that was contained within it was like a gut punch to the stomach. It really made me dwell on how much we have lost and will lose in the future and that we have so little control over all of it.
This is the nature of art and one of the reasons we should always cherish the art we have around us now.
Notre Dame, like any other piece of art (and yes I consider the whole cathedral a piece of art), will not survive. Its been lucky so far to not allow history or nature to wipe it from the earth. But we have to face the fact that as artists everything will eventually perish, including ourselves. We also have to teach ourselves and those around us to not just see the art before them, but to see the art over time.
The Mona Lisa is still with us after so many years, but how many of us look at her with an eye towards who she was, the history of her creation, the journey she has made to be here today?
It is the same with Notre Dame. For a few moments during that fire, the world stopped and considered more than just the building, but the whole of her history on this earth.
This is the magic of art. The way most of us look at art, its just like a snapshot image. We say "oh pretty" then we move on, never considering the entirety of the creation. If anything is learned from this fire, I hope its that we take a little time to look at the entirety of the creation. Its important.
With the image above, I am beginning a series of memorial art for Notre Dame with the goal in my own mind to cherish this art completely. Because she may not be here tomorrow.