A Bit 'o Random Musings on Politics, Religion, and Anything Else That Passes Through My Crazy Head

Friday, November 16, 2012


Art can be artificial - a flat 2-D rendering that oversimplifies the complexities of life.  But art can also be a prism through which we step into the shoes of others.  It can help us understand the alienation of the 1920's when we look at Edward Hooper's Nighthawks:

We can practically touch the divine when we look up at Michelangelo's magnificent frescoes on the Sistine Chapel ceiling:

We understand the horrors of the civil war through Matthew Brady's photography.

We experience the pure joy of a good day as Gene Kelly dances his way down a wet street:

Of course this is just what I feel, but I'm going to generalize and assume that you have all been touched by some work of art, whether music, poetry, dance, literature, theater, paintings, or sculpture.  We may take away different things from these artificial renderings of reality, but they can show us life's joys and pains in a unique and compelling way.

I remember reading somewhere that would have been literally impossible for Mary to hold Jesus the way she does in Michelangelo's Pieta.

Yet, it doesn't seem artificial to look at - when you stand in front of it you are drawn to her sorrow and it is almost palpable.  You are THERE, at the tomb, witnessing the horror and the sadness just as surely as Mary felt those things.  That the actual event did not look like this is almost certain, but the universal emotions it portrays resonate with us.  Maybe the Pieta doesn't move you - maybe for you it's movies, songs, great literature, or some other art form.  The creativity of others can be WONDROUS!  One of the things I love about art is that there is no "official" interpretation of something.  Sure, the artist can tell us his or her thoughts on what their creation means.  But truly great art has so much depth and loveliness to it that it captivates you, and brings you under its spell. You are able to learn things from it that the original artist may never even have imagined.

I'm grateful for art!

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