‘Everyone discusses my art and pretends to understand, as if it were necessary to understand, when it is simply necessary to love.’ -Claude Monet, painter (1840-1926)
I am telling you Claude, that if this is just another one of your “Lily pond” paintings; then I am just so walking away from here. What is this obsession with the outdoors and water and lakes and rivers and morning mists and evening dusks over tall trees and beautiful colors. Where is the personal touch of elegant maidens and young lovers on an open canvas? Now when I look again at his works; the church and the village and the countryside, all spread-out in his own interpretation of reality (captured forever) on his canvas, with some strokes of oil paints. The paintings are the earliest impressionists that sprang up around this period and spread out across Europe. When one looks at his Impression, Sunrise as shown above; one can feel the rapid brush strokes, and feel of light that he imparted to the canvas, and a new school of impressioism, was born in Paris.
Many artists flourished from the nineteenth century and today adorn some grey halls in storied buildings. The price of art is going through the roof as private collections are gobbled up by large Museums with millions in endorsements. Private capital sweeps in and out of auctions claiming dubious prizes at extremely high prices at the various venues. Still if we reduced it it to its basics these are just strokes, squiggles, designs, colors, texture and intent on a blank canvas stretched tight. The beauty of all art is in how it attracts its viewer into its own world of passion; and view of the given reality. It portrayes the artist’s view point at that particular moment in time; and it may have taken many previous attempts, to get to this one view. Suddenly the light and shade and darkness and the bright palette come together and a masterpiece is created.
We should revere these master pieces that history has left behind; from these magnificent artists, and they are prized as great pieces of art. In the digital world; we can have views of all the masterpieces that are available, on the individual Museum’s web sites. We need to go beyond these fiefdoms of state and country borders like St Petersburg, Paris, Vienna, Berlin, London, Amsterdam etc to a unified whole representing world art. Wikipedia is probably the closest we will get to one I guess, for now. To understand a Monet\Van Gough\Gaugin we have to look beyond the presentation; to the man who painted them, and his times. Since this is now beyond anyone’s ability; so instead we gawk at the spectacl, and are hustled, around by guards in white gloves, down halls with statues, and gardens outside the windows with more exquisite displays.
Technology has changed and the current video oriented communication channels; are clogging up our airways, and what happens when we eventually communicate at the speed of our brain. We will have instant access to the network around us; and everything will be connected, whenever we want it to be. When we barely think a thought or imagine an image; and we can create it using a 3D printer, with canvas, paint and a good program. We could reproduce millions of images into a cohesive whole; and then make it storable, searchable, and reusable in today’s world. Do we make the ceiling in our room like the Sistine Chapel; or do we do a dark Monet, full of love? We could transform living space with images like the Cesar’s in Las Vegas, and other Casinos; and they would not be dark and dingy in their interiors, but become alive with life, and vibrant with hope. Great art can help transform even the lowest places; if it is displayed properly, and then it will be appreciated everywhere.
On another note I think the world has forgotten what modern communication can do. President Lincoln used the Telegraph and railroads very efficiently for communication and restocking of the Union Army in the first modern civil war. With Obama care we have the unleashment of the power of the Internet. When 10 million people have signed on for Health Insurance through this portal; then people may finally sit up, and take notice that change is coming in how medical care will be provided in the US. The day we hit the mark of 100,000 people signing up on the same day on the currently beleaguered portal; we may stop following the index, and accept it as a law of the land. The war for people’s health and wellbeing is at stake here, and I believe after the initial glitches, the site will be tremendously successful; and reach ever higher milestones, through a collection of Health Care Exchanges, providing choice, and reasonable costs with preventive care thrown in. There are 36 states in the federal exchange and 14 other states have some form of medical exchanges on their own. Dec 15 and Mar 15 are big dates now, but will soon be a small blip in history, after the back loading.
On a last note we say goodbye to a legend in cricket as 23 years ago a teen age Sachin walked in at the hopeless position of the top order gone at 104 for 4 and only the great Kapil Dev to hold down the fort at the other end. A masterful 119 came off his willow that 1990 day in Manchester, he recorded his maiden debut century, to take the match to a historic draw. Tendulkar etched his name in deep letters into the annals of Wisden’s almanac and other record books at an astonishing pace. Now time has come to say goodbye to this test legend, who stepped out from the park in Mumbai; onto the greatest stage of his time, and did us all very proud!We bow down to all these masters who have come before us.