I have no idea where these posts are going. I hope you have your crash helmet on and are enjoying a cup of coffee. Perhaps this is the problem of first drafts after I brainstorm – you are getting ramble thoughts that only I probably understand. Today I am going to condense the post into the five artists that seem to have touched my life the most. There are many more, but these five were times I got to experience something live that truly touched my heart. In no particular order, here they are:
DaVinci - The longest I ever spent staring at any one exhibition was a when I heard that I could go see some original works of Leonardo Davinci and actually see one of his codec's in person. Ahh, sketches of how he created paintings as well as one of his sketchbooks and the explanation of what his mind was thinking. The man was artist, inventor, lover, and weapon maker. It was interesting to see how far ahead in time his mind was with what was possible. I wonder what he would think of the idea of advanced artificial intelligence and where were heading in the world today?
I have always loved the process of watching sketch part of when art is created, as you watch the artists work some ideas out in rough form to get a sense of what is in their minds on paper. They make it look so easy with fluid strokes of the writing material. They will mock up a few models, then paint some tests, all to go reach for one piece that will be considered finished for all to see. While the final is great, I really enjoy watching the overall process more and that is what this particular exhibition showed the viewer.
I sat for several hours in one room, just watching, looking and staring into the various sketches, paintings and his notebook. The security probably had no clue what I was doing, because few people probably spent hours looking at the works in the one room. But it was a little piece of heaven on earth to me. Where I grew up, the closest we got to Davinci was a page in a book in the Library.
Seeing his work up close and personal brings an entirely different layer and texture to the reality of his work. It gave a sense of closeness and understanding at how remarkable a talent he was.
Michelangelo - While I am not a sculpture fan, I also had another moment with Michelangelo’s work when I happened to go into St Peters Basilica in the Vatican. For those of the Catholic Denomination, please don’t take offense when I call St Peters a sort of Disneyland for Catholics, Before I went in, I imagined there would be people praying, meditating and being reverent. It was more like people going to Disneyland running around in sensory overload.
What I found were people just wandering around in awe at the art, structure, and grandiose wonderment of the space. I think seeing St peters had me read the book about the renaissance and what was going on in the time when the entire place was created into the form we know today. The Medici Family was one of, or the most powerful merchant family and they had a few relatives posted as popes. While the idea and what we still see today with St Peters is amazing, it almost bankrupted the church.
Then again, the thing that got me to stop in my tracks was a sculpture by Michelangelo and the Pieta. I had to confess, seeing the veins carved in Jesus's arms and the sad beauty coming from the virgin Mary holding the body of Jesus, doesn’t really need any religion or denomination for anyone to understand what happened that day. The entire Vatican is rather mind blowing, and i can only wonder how much treasure and great art is behind closed doors, but it wasn't the Sistine Chapel that touched me most. it was the Pieta.
I had no idea one could carve detail into marble like that with a chisel and hammer. When I think of the time when he did these works, I am even more amazed. Today, this art is lost, we have 3d printing and the machine age seems to have few people willing to pay for a human hand to create something amazing. It takes too long and costs too much. Sad. Just as it is sad that the art now is housed behind protective glass so anther person doesn’t go try to hit it with hammers and destroy it.
Renoir – Luncheon of the boating party. I like Renoir best out of the impressionists, but I must I confess I stared at this image for hours and in my mind supersedes all the other work he did. The unique thing was that the museum hung the art under warm artificially lighting in a darkened room. Not out in the middle of natural light. It was under these conditions that you saw how amazing Renoir was with color, transparency and composition. IT might sound funny, but I stared at the glasses of water on the table and how they appeared to be real. I marveled…for hours
Now that I think about it, it was a time in my life that wasn’t’ all that hot. Perhaps that is why I go to museums and sit and look at the great art gave inspiration to pick up and try again. Who knew I would be on a completely different path today?
Sorolla – was a complete surprise. I didn’t’ even know who he was, but there was an exhibit with another artist that I thought I would enjoy, yet seeing the art, I was more touched with Sorolla and how he painted with color and light, yet, my favorite was a painting called return from fishing. That doesn’t really sound too interesting for a painting, does it? But my god it took my breath away with the detail, expression and feeling. You feel like you are in the image helping with the work. If there ever were an artist that I wished was in the old west of the United States to paint the life of cowboys, gold miners and railroad builders, it would be Sorolla
Most of Sorollas work is about beach life and beautiful woman and kids, but for me, the bull in the sea is my favorite.
Botero - It was an accident at finding the Botero museum in Bogotá. I had always been fascinated with how he painted plump people, giving them a cartoonish quality yet having fine art appeal. I saw the artists work in various images, but never knew his name. One day I was in the hotel in Bogotá looking fro something to see on day off and the room guide mentioned the Botero Museum. When I put two and two together that the images I had liked were the same guy, I went off into the Museum.
Perhaps it was that the Museum was so empty, there were few people is why I so loved seeing the museum. How I would enjoy having a cup of coffee with this artist, as he has a unique perspective on the world.
That’s the rant for the morning. Think about which artists have touched your life, why? If you want to share, send along an email about it. Have a great day.