Sunday, December 27, 2009

Let the artist loose.

Art does not reproduce the visible, rather, it makes visible.

Paul Klee
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Watch out now, I'm going to do some more meanderings about art. Why do I do that? Because I'm an artist. Because I'm proud and humbled to have among my friends and acquaintances those with whom I share a sacred experience, though some artists may not think of it that way, and it's a sacred experience I share with the rest of the world, though most of humanity would not see it that way.

I know a guy who's a mechanic. His hobby is taking photographs. His pictures are excellent. They are beautiful, often with humor, sometimes with pathos. I've shared some of them with a few artist friends. I keep telling him he's an artist, He keeps insisting he's not. But the proof is in the picture.

There's a well known painting my Rene Magritte of a man standing in a suit and hat with an apple covering his face. It's a curious picture as most of his works are. But someone suggested that what if it was a photograph and at the exact mini second the photographer took the picture of the man an apple had fallen from the tree between them. Think about that.

When I was an actor I enjoyed talking with other actors about the processes and results of acting various roles. One day a stage manager, a sweet woman whose friendship I cherish, said "Why do you talk about it? Why don't you just do it?"
I enjoyed talking about it, that's why. I discussed it because I was fascinated by the processes and wanted to understand them on a philosophical level. But she was correct in a certain way because the doing of it was the best way of articulating it. That's why it's called "show business."

I once knew an actor who was obese. He wasn't overweight, he was obese. He had a lifelong issue with weight. He used to say that when he came near the exhaust of a bakery he gained five pounds. But, despite that, he was in excellent physical shape. He was a dancer as well as being an actor. And he was a happy, jovial fellow with a good sense of humor. He had a girl friend, Louise. One day I was visiting them for a party. He had a statue on his bookcase of Bacchus, a naked fat man sitting on a keg of wine with a laurel wreath on his head and a big happy smile on his face. Louise showed it to me and said that she almost left him because of his weight, but when she saw that statue she changed her mind. She stopped looking at the fat man and started seeing the Bacchus he really was.

There's that famous line by Archibald MacLeish, "A poem should not mean, but be."

We make things visible, we crazy artists, and that is a sacred trust.


DB - The Vagabond

4 comments:

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

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and therefore, there are lots of opportunities for the artist in us.

Linda's World said...

I agree with Ken, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Down to 28* here tonight at a little after 11pm. Linda in WA

Silver said...

Hey you! How are you?

It is true that there is more hope yet in most of us than what meets the eye!

love,
~Silver

Anne said...

I love this post. May I add that a special day came for me when I actually saw my son, unstead of his profound mental illness. I identified the illness but not the person behind it. We have such good conversations now. Anne