Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Xenionic Xylograph 3/03/09

We struggle to mine the ore of experience and to express thee inexpressible, and from the struggle art, poetry and music are made.

DB - The Vagabond
Welcome back.
My first real acquaintance and understanding of that struggle came when I was a teenager and went to see an exhibit of paintings and drawings by Arshile Gorky. Gorky was not his real name. He was born Vostonik Adoyan in Turkey sometime in the early 20th Century, the date is not certain. He was Armenian and when the cruel genocide of Armenians took place he fled to New York City. He had a short life (44 years), his works spanned from Impressionism, through Cubism and into Abstract Expressionism and in that mode he became a pioneer and great influence on other painters.

Gorky had a troubled life. His mother died in his arms from starvation. He and his father were separated. He never achieved financial independence, although his works were well known in art circles and he could not have the family he always wasted. The struggles of a sensitive, creative man to express the inexpressible are clearly seen in his paintings. I saw them that day in the museum.

Since that day I have come to find the same struggle in other artists, like Hoffman and de Kooning, composers like Beethoven, Bartok, Schoenberg and in myself. The artist is always reaching. There is a reaching down into the ore of one's life, trying to bring up sense, answers, truth and something beautiful, and a reaching above to grasp and understand the inextinguishable fire that flashes with spirit and genius and is always just out of reach. As a result the artist is a Tantalus. The art lover, the audience member can never experience the artist's desperate reaching, all they know are the results of that struggle. But that's where the art comes from.

DB - Vagabond Journeys
Find some joy today, and share it.

This is not a contest.

What one person, living or not, would you most like to have dinner with?
What is the first question you would ask them?

You have the winter to answer. Please leave your response on my email or journal with your name, or journal title or email address. Thank you.



Gerry said...

After a series of very damaging and disillusioning events in my last year of college, I concluded that the safest place for me to survive was to hide among the uneducated, the primitive, earth people you might say but I had been raised among them and the animals so I returned to them as I could trust them to recognize that I was hurt badly, close to death, and needed healing. Among the super intellectual disability might be regarded as a sign of weakness, imperfection, and I feared I could not get the help I needed to survive poverty which follows disability in any circumstance. Thus the great artist, the creator, led me to the poorest of the poor where I would be safe. But I took books with me with their distilled beauty and wisdom. The living writer who might be regarded as the closest thing to God on earth might not value me with his power bestowed on him by his worshippers and he could be my death. Gerry

Big Mark 243 said...

I think that great art is often the product of great irony. Who appreciates beauty more than the person for whom the beauty of life eludes their grasp?

Beth said...

I think that's very well-said. I'm not an art student, and I can't say exactly why a painting evokes a particular emotion in me, but I appreciate any artist who does. I like de Kooning, because it seems sort of chaotic to me; one of my favorites is Edward Hopper, because I always sense a loneliness behind his paintings. Anyone who can express such emotions in the viewer is very talented, in my opinion.

Hugs, Beth

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

I wish I had more artistic talent, and I am sure there is a forum for me, because we all need a way to express our hopes, aspirations, inspirations, fears, and joys.

Glad you have several outlets.