Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Great Divide

I invited a friend into my little gallery studio the other day.
As he scanned over my paintings, I sensed an emotional distance between my art and where he was at the moment.
He was reflective.
He then told me the story of his father who was an artist. It was a sad story, for his dad died when he was a 9 year old boy. He recalled his mother, taking his father's entire collection of oils and setting them on the street for garbage pickup and he recalls people jumping from their cars and rummaging through them and hauling away the collection.
He retained this memory, for somehow it seemed to capture The Great Divide. Its as if, his mother was unable to see the beauty of his father's life.
As he gave my works a cursory 'once over', I recognized that at this moment the Great Divide was being played out.
In those few moments in my gallery, it was more important for him to replay his life story and the impact of art on his life then it was for him to discuss my paintings.
We all experience this Great Divide from time to time. The opportunity to be surrounded by my works, released this painful awareness from his past.
Even though there was a disconnect with my works at that moment, my art set him free on a reflective journey with deep, tender, and painful memories. My art took him to the recognition of his own personal Great Divide.
And in that delicate and tender moment of reflection, I opened a drawer and gently set my egotistical need to be stroked into the dark recesses where it belonged.

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