… putting it together … art isn’t easy …

I’m writing a story about what happens to a man who has spent a life trying to find the “why” in reality through making art and then, suddenly, stops. He reaches a point where he no longer believes in the efficacy of finding patterns or telling stories, where he no longer has enough faith to believe in anything. Since I am that man, I’m not certain I’ve the skill to tell the tale, and, isn’t the attempt oxymoronic? Since I no longer believe there is any point in trying to explain the world or exploring the truth and light of it, then, why bother? It’s a pattern I suppose. A habit. I would much rather that Stephen Sondheim explain it to me in a song than I have to write a novel about it, but, there it is. Here I am. Wonderful article by Frank Rich about Mr. Sondheim in New York Magazine recently (CLICK HERE FOR IT).

Sondheim, Stephen

Stephen Sondheim

Have I mentioned how much I love New York Magazine? I do. Heartbroken they are going from weekly to bi-weekly, but, at least they’re continuing to publish.

Where was I? Oh, right – should I be writing this story? I’ve been trolling the web (as usual) looking for inspiration – looking further into the Narcissus myth – and I found the work of the artist Daniel Barkley (GO TO HIS WEBSITE HERE). Look at these pieces – gorgeous.

Daniel Barkley; Narcisse

Daniel Barkley; Narcisse

Daniel Barkley; Brother's Keeper

Daniel Barkley; Brother’s Keeper

Daniel Barkley, Untitled

Daniel Barkley, Untitled

Daniel Barkley; Conversation: Anthony & Paul

Daniel Barkley; Conversation: Anthony & Paul

Daniel Barkley

Daniel Barkley

Daniel Barkley

Daniel Barkley

Daniel Barkley

Daniel Barkley

Daniel Barkley

Daniel Barkley

Daniel Barkley

Daniel Barkley

Daniel Barkley

Daniel Barkley

I think his use of color and light and the re-imagining of myth- to say so much without a word, to tell a truth, to communicate in such a powerful way: I am in awe of such artists.

And wish I could approach their level, their genius. I too have written a great deal about “blue” – but spending hours looking for inspiration in their work on “blue” – in the subtleties and genius of the songs of Sondheim- I mean, listen to Heidi Blickenstaff singing “I Remember Sky” from Sondheim’s score for “Evening Primrose” – how gloriously gorgeously dreamy and sad and insightfully regretfully rueful and wise and silly and stupid and aching and melancholy and longing and … all the things we are when we run away from reality and hide – good god – just listen, these lines:

“I remember days/  or at least I try. / But as years go by / they’re a sort of haze /And the bluest ink / isn’t really sky. / And at times I think / I would gladly die / For a day of sky.”

Then notice the details and dangers in Barkley’s paintings (read an interview with him and see more of his work here) … especially these with the same theme of BLUE as did Sondheim’s “I Remember”

barkley, daniel blueBlue VincentBarkley, Daniel Icarusbarkley, daniel untitled 4barkley, daniel untitled 5barkley, daniel untitled 6

These works – they both intimidate me and allow me (force me, even) to procrastinate … care to join me?

 

One thought on “… putting it together … art isn’t easy …

  1. Your thoughts and feeling I do share as well, the images etched in my memory and stop me dead, the ghostly blue light, the nude scenes that give a feeling of a human life that vanishes so quickly, that our lives are surreal and nothing really matters at all. This stuff has changed me somehow.

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