Archive for August 2nd, 2022

Struggle and Will

GC Myers- Struggle and Will

Struggle and Will– At the West End Gallery

There is scarcely any passion without struggle.

Albert Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays

Or, to put it a different way:

having nothing to struggle
they have nothing to struggle

–Charles Bukowski

Just asking questions this morning. I certainly don’t have answers, at least, none that have actual proof of being correct. Most of my questions refer in some way to what I see in the painting at the top, a new piece titled Struggle and Will, which is included in my current show at the West End Gallery.

As the title suggests, I see it as being primarily about struggle and perseverance against opposing forces, both external and internal. The struggle between desire and reality. Between justice and injustice, right and wrong. Between truth and illusion. Between comfort and impoverishment.

I have been thinking lately about how passion, particularly creative passion, is often fed by these same struggles.

This begs the questions:

Is there creative passion without struggle?

What is the primary driver of creative passion?

Does sheer ability or craftsmanship equate to or even supersede passion? That leads to: Can the talented truly produce art without possessing passion?

I hope the answer to that last one is a no but then again, I don’t know.

I am certain I could answer from differing viewpoints on any of these questions and each would be valid, anecdotally. I suppose creative passion, like art in general, exists without rules. Creative passion might grow in someone who seems from the outside to have had an easy life with, if any, few struggles. Conversely, it may not exist at all in someone who has had to fight and struggle every day of their life.

Probably not a right answer to any of these. Maybe these aren’t even the right questions to be asking.

Maybe the question should be: What defines struggle?

Or: For what do you struggle?

Again, no answers here. But writing this just now, I am reminded of a line from the classic film The Third Man. Orson Welles, playing the post-war racketeer Harry Lime, speaks in a roundabout way about passion produced in struggle:

After all, it’s not that awful. You know what the fellow said – in Italy, for thirty years under the Borgias, they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland, they had brotherly love, they had five hundred years of democracy and peace. And what did that produce? The cuckoo clock.

He was factually off a bit as the cuckoo clock is a German creation, but the point is well made.

Maybe passion does require struggle…

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: