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Posts Tagged ‘Faust’

This is a post from a couple of years back with a new addition at its end:





“The world concerns me only in so far as I owe it a certain debt and duty, so to speak, because I have walked this earth for 30 years, and out of gratitude would like to leave some memento in the form of drawings and paintings—not made to please this school or that, but to express a genuine human feeling.”

― Vincent van Gogh, The Letters of Vincent van Gogh



Thought a good way to kick off this week might be to share a few paintings from Vincent van Gogh along with a quote from one of his letters that speaks very much to my own feelings about my own reasons for doing what I do. These are not his better known paintings, though some of you may well know these pieces. They’re pieces that speak to my own personal inclinations. You might notice that most of these paintings have his ball-like sun/moon.

The idea of feeling a need to leave a memento behind that expresses one’s gratitude and one’s expression of self is one that is not foreign to me. I often think about how my work will speak for me after I am gone. Actually, the thought is often if it will speak into the future at all and, if so, will it be an honest reflection, a true representation of my voice.

I know that an artist, for all of the ways they try to guide the narrative about their work and life, have little control on the future.

What will be, will be.

The artist’s voice might echo but it is always just that, an echo, a one-sided conversation from the past. Hopefully, what is said in that echo reverberates and speaks to someone of that future time so that they can fully understand and connect to the feeling behind it. And if so, with the hope that they might respond to that voice in some small way that continues to give life to it.

As I said, an artist has little control over this outside of doing their work with honest efforts and emotions. It’s obvious this was the case in the work of van Gogh and we continue to have a conversation with his echoes from the past, his mementos of gratitude.

[2021 Addendum]

Here’s a few lines from Goethe’s Faust that mirror this same sentiment:

“You can’t, if you can’t feel it, if it never
Rises from the soul, and sways
The heart of every single hearer,
With deepest power, in simple ways.
You’ll sit forever, gluing things together,
Cooking up a stew from other’s scraps,
Blowing on a miserable fire,
Made from your heap of dying ash.
Let apes and children praise your art,
If their admiration’s to your taste,
But you’ll never speak from heart to heart,
Unless it rises up from your heart’s space.”

― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust, First Part

Have a good day.




 

 

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I am running around this morning, trying to get things ready for a visit to a couple of galleries over the next couple of days.  I won’t be posting anything while I’m on this little roadtrip so I thought I’d just share a little music that somewhat has the tempo of my mind when I’m rolling down the road.  This is a video of The Who from 1970 at the Isle of Wight doing Young Man Blues.  This is a great recording so you get to see Roger Daltrey in his full-fringed, mic twirling splendor, Keith Moon at this bangin’ best and Pete Townsend tearing it up in his dystopian  industrial coveralls while John Entwhistle stoically provides the bottom end that churns it all along.  Just vintage great stuff.

The accompanying image shown here is a painting of mine  from many years ago called Faust’s Guitar.  I did a few versions of this composition and it still catches my eye.  He should be wearing Pete’s coverall…

Enjoy and I’ll be back in a few days.

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