Sunday, November 29, 2009

Stop and Smell the Pollution.

I'm not sure how to start this so I'm just gonna jump right into my main idea: While I was in the Guggenheim this past weekend, looking at a collection of Kandinsky's artwork spanning his life, I was overcome with thoughts and emotions. It was some beautiful work, abstract art is always something that amazes me and this stuff was beautiful. Looking at his collection, you see the pure volume of the work he did, you see all the time he spent laboring over his intricate works. In a given year: He might have painted well over 200 works, including hundreds more abstract sketches to guide him alone whatever he wanted to convey in his next painting, while teaching at one of several universities he worked at throughout his life, was helping set up galleries for his and other abstract artist's work in whatever community he was in at the time, all while being married and sometimes having an affair. I think thats a pretty busy life, much more than I could ever handle. So I'm thinking about this standing in a world famous museum, in the busiest city in the country, and I can't help but be a little uneasy. I feel a sense of grandiose opposition in philosophies. I felt like the message of his art, along with some other really great works by other amazing artists, is that you need to deconstruct everything you know about the world and whatever is considered normal and base in society. Then you have these being displayed in this amazingly designed building by Frank Lloyd Wright (who I gotta give love to being from Buffalo) on probably the busiest street in the country. I mean, the 50 block walk to get there, was like walking down a crowded high school hallway, except the sidewalk was probably 25-30 feet wide. Being from a place where 200 people in a mall is busy, it was almost mind-blowing for me to experience the sheer amount of commercialization and urbanization surrounding this beautiful beacon for transcendent art. Art is at its core a search for self-discovery. Seeing a good portion of Kandinsky's life's work and how it changed throughout his life, the more work he created and how he constantly changed his artistic output based on everything that was constantly changing in his life. In the most commercially important city in the country which is at the center of the information world, in a short attention span society, we have this amazing display of some of the most thought provoking abstract art I've ever seen.
So I'm thinking to myself about the last time I stopped and thought about a piece of art and really tried to understand the state of mind of the artist while he created. While this is quite difficult to put yourself into the shoes of a Russian who grew up in Germany and then was forced out because of his Russian heritage. Or someone who could sit in a chair and just paint all day to try and convey a message to the world. So all I could think of is what the hell am I supposed to do to convey my message. On that thought I wondered what my message is or if I'll ever truly know what it is I want to "tell the world". I thought about the beautiful art found at the center of a city filled with everything bad America has to offer and I realized how great an analogy it was to life itself. How much time do we spend, in essence, running around with our heads chopped off. Wandering in circles wondering what we're supposed to be doing or what will make us feel complete. For Kandinsky, it was his art, it woke him up every morning, it was part of every meal and every night he went to sleep. It was his passion, and his passion lives on through his work, I felt it just standing near it. I just wonder how many of us, in our watch now/think later society, how much time do we waste not doing what we love or what makes us feel fulfilled.
As odd as it sounds, and as improbable as it may be in our society, I feel like my passion is to make more people realize things like this. To show as many people as I can to find that little art museum they love inside of the world of crap that is around them trying to pull them into its black hole of normalcy. I hope I figure out how to do it someday...

1 comment:

  1. Have you ever thought of asking as many people as possible what they truly value, and hold in high regard in life. Or what makes them happy and feel separated from society as a mass of people all sharing the same ideals. I feel nowadays most people could not think of an honest answer.