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Posts Tagged ‘The Master’

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“For the first time in years, he felt the deep sadness of exile, knowing that he was alone here, an outsider, and too alert to the ironies, the niceties, the manners, and indeed, the morals to be able to participate.”

― Colm Tóibín, The Master

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Another new cityscape, this one a 36″ high by 24″ wide canvas that I am calling The Exile’s Wilderness.

I’ve written a couple of times here about these new pieces and the anonymity provided by the looming buildings, shadowy streets and empty windows. It’s the perfect environment for the Exile, one that allows a person to slip by unheeded, almost as if invisible.

Like a ghost.

There but not really there. Constantly observing but never engaging or participating. Just as the words above from Colm Tóibín point out– the outsider who is so aware of the manners and niceties of this place that they are never comfortable enough to participate.

The odd thing about this form of exile is that the exile becomes comfortable in their isolation, their separateness. It becomes their comfort. And I think that level of comfort is what I see in this piece. It represents a feeling of estrangement yet it also feels warm and familiar with little menace. The mountains looming in the background represent the Exile’s desire for solitude and distance. They are hope.

The moon looking down on it all, for me, represents a spirit companion of some sort for the Exile, a distant presence that observes and enlightens without passing judgement. It, too, is a comfort for the Exile.

It’s a striking piece here in the studio, with the dark warmth of its colors and the Morse code-like feel, dots and dashes, of the windows’ lights. I have it in a central spot where I can see it most of the time I am at work at the easel or at my computer.

I find it comforting.

But, then again, maybe I am the Exile here.

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