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  • Writer's picturelibbydarlow

3 Life Altering Experiences with Art

This activity was suggested by Jerry Saltz on the 'Talk Art' podcast.

I have spent a lot of time in the past feeling powerless and full of self hatred. These feelings seem to intensify in front of art, where I'm often confronted with something I don't understand but feel that I should. The following pieces have skewered me out of myself. Enjoying them came naturally to me and because of that I wasn't concerned about trying to understand the work, it's worth, gravity or message.

Monet - Water Lilies

There is a bliss in Monet's 'Water Lilies', its large canvas encompasses you into the safety and beauty of its realm, a realm of complete serenity. My eyes free to swim in the haven of paint. Monet's Water Lilies momentarily relieved me from my depression and pessimism. It provided the hope, that perhaps art can live up to my idealisations and bring me peace and happiness.

Magdalena Abakanowicz - Embryology

Embryology sat, slumped and scattered around, mounds of organic, textual fabric. A saviour in the clean, austere and alien atmosphere of Tate Modern. It appeared to me as somewhat alive. As formations of softened rocks, and I was liberated in a nature that wanted me to sleep and feel safe in it.

It was a lone familiar in London and its scary pressure, constant crowd, art and it's unfathomable meaning.

I longed to be able to join them and bury myself in their safety.

Embryology in it's natural appearance was something I could relate my body and life to.

Clyfford Still

Clyfford Still's paintings at the Abstract Expressionism Exhibition were what generated my love for paint. Paint became something of a deity to me, one I was a poor disciple of.

Still's paintings are all grand in scale; oceans of texture and colour. I was enchanted, my eyes ecstatically crawling over the surface of his paintings. It was limitless. In front of Still's paintings my vision was widening, tangles of thoughts were abandoned as I ran wild in his environment.

I'm a bit torn about how my thoughts in relation to these pieces of work feed into this mysticism of art, pushing expectations for it sky high and thereby possibly missing more honest experiences of what it can be. I have a flawed image of art, and the main purpose of this blog is to confront and understand this personal beast of mine. This was my first attempt to identify what I like in art and what works have meant the most to me.


In case anyone wants to know or take it themselves I got Mark Rothko on this 'Which abstract expressionist are you?'

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