Archive for September 12th, 2022


GC Myers-  Elan Vital sm

Elan Vital– At the West End Gallery

Nothing, indeed, is more dangerous to the young artist than any conception of ideal beauty: he is constantly led by it either into weak prettiness or lifeless abstraction: whereas to touch the ideal at all you must not strip it of vitality. You must find it in life and re-create it in art.

Oscar Wilde, Lecture to Art Students, 1883

A short triad this morning. I see the vitality of life as being the connecting tissue here. You may or may not see it that way as well.

I don’t always agree with Oscar Wilde‘s observations on art as we have differing senses of the aesthetic, most likely due to the different eras we both inhabited.

But difference is the way art is designed to be.

It knows no one way.

The main thing is that is contains a life force within it. A free expression of that vitality.

Sometimes easier said than done…

Along with my painting, Elan Vital, and the words of Wilde, let’s complete the triad with a song, I Wish I Knew How it Would Feel To Be Free. It was written and originally recorded in 1963 by the great jazz pianist Billy Taylor and had a memorable cover from later in the 60’s by Nina Simone. I thought I would share a version from two favorites of mine, Mavis Staples and Levon Helm. It was recorded at Helm’s Woodstock, NY studio in 2011, less than year before he died from throat cancer in 2012. You can see that he’s has some sort of malady in the video.

But it’s good stuff. Got some vitality…

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