Thursday, April 19, 2007

Art urges

At the moment, I have this unmistakable feeling to be artistic, to create something; to express through other ways than writing. It began when I watched Frida last week. Though the movie has been out for a few years, I hadn’t seen it until now. Frida’s artwork is completely gripping, and her story is strikingly painful. But she dealt with it—life gave her blows, and she translated her emotions very realistically on the canvas. Her art is not subtle or wrought with impressionistic imagery. Her husband was repeatedly unfaithful to her, and she depicted her pain through brushstrokes. She miscarried—she painted it, in all its graphic detail.Her imagination is partly what makes her paintings so salient: she was a genius at taking emotion, in all its nuances and impreciseness, and turning it into an image that is easily recognizable: you see it, and you think, yes! that’s what if feels like to be lied to, to feel frustrated, etc. I can’t relate to many of the tragedies that struck her, but I still get it. I see her art, and I recognize a woman who understood how healing it is to take the mashings and confusions of heartache and turn it into a colorful motif.
I am not by any means artistic. My attempts at drawing human images are simply stick figure-ish, and I don’t understand how to use and mix colors. My mother is an artist, but her spatial genes, unfortunately, didn’t get passed on to me. When I was younger, I would make cards for people out of ripped construction paper. I found the whole process rejuvenating, and it served as my small way to show people that I cared. So, in all honesty, I don’t know quite what to make of these sudden “art urges.” Should I buy construction paper and make collages? Should I try writing poetry? How do I translate my pliable emotions into a tangible presentation? Would I feel some release if I could harness feelings that I haven’t expressed in my relationship and turn them into a graphic? Would creating art bridge the interstice between my emotions and my rational thought?
People express their emotions through different outlets. Frida’s outlet was painting. I am still trying to figure mine out. Many people, in my observation, don’t like the transparency of art or expression—in whatever form it may take. They prefer to hide their feelings behind opaqueness. I, on the other hand, don’t do that so well. If I am feeling something, I have to express it, in some form. I think that finding the right form is as meaningful as the art that comes to fruition.

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