Monday, 15 November 2010

Art is born out of an ill-designed world (A. Tarkovsky)

An artist never works under ideal conditions. If they existed, his work wouldn't exist, for the artist doesn't live in a vacuum. Some sort of pressure must exist. The artist exists because the world is not perfect. Art would be useless if the world were perfect, as man wouldn't look for harmony but would simply live in it. Art is born out of an ill-designed world.

~Andrei Tarkovsky "Sculpting in Time" (1987)

Monday, 8 November 2010

Love defies Death in Art: the paradigm of Marc Chagall

"The Firebird" Marc Chagall 1949

Chagall's pure and unconditional love for his first wife, Bella Rosenfeld (who died suddenly in 1944) haunts his earlier and part of his later art. I love his extraordinary use of colour and the loss of gravity that prevails in his work. It is this dream-like quality of art that compensates for frustration in everyday life.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

The Speech of Silence in Gibran and Rothko

Speech is not the only means of understanding between two souls. It is not the syllables that come from the lips and tongues that bring hearts together. There is something greater and purer than what the mouth utters. Silence illuminates our souls, whispers to our hearts, and brings them together. Silence separates us from ourselves, makes us sail the firmament of spirit, and brings us closer to Heaven; it makes us feel that bodies are no more than prisons and that this world is only a place of exile.
~Kahlil Gibran: Broken Wings ("The Tempest")

Mark Rothko Untitled 1966

The Lebanese writer Kahlil Gibran has been a revelation to me. I first read 'The Prophet' 3 years ago and it left an indelible mark on my heart. Gibran helped me find a purpose in my life again. There is something so universal and uplifting in his words that exceeds the limitations of speech and urges humans from all corners of the world to connect to the higher plane of the Spirit. 
Interestingly, Rothko's art is not at all about horizontal stripes of colour.  To my mind, there is something purely esoteric in his choice and interaction of colours that captures the soul and mind of the viewer. 'Reading' Rothko feels like unlocking our innermost wisdom... 
How does the aforementioned writing and painting impact on you?

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

The Breeze in the Almond Tree: Kazantzakis and van Gogh

We are at the heart of autumn, rich yellow and rust tones prevailing. Notwithstanding the season, there's always something vaguely metaphysical -a springtime breeze takes me over- when I come across such beauty:

'When an almond tree became covered with blossoms in the heart of  winter, all the trees around it began to jeer. 'What vanity,' they screamed, 'what insolence! Just think, it believes it can bring spring in this way!' The flowers of the almond tree blushed for shame. 'Forgive me, my sisters,' said the tree. 'I swear I did not want to blossom, but suddenly I felt a warm springtime breeze in my heart.'
~Nikos Kazantzakis Saint Francis (1962)

Sprig of Almond Blossom in A Glass 
Vincent Van Gogh 1888