MY FAVOURITE VINCENT

The Blossoming Almond Branch is an oil painting on canvas that Van Gogh painted in Saint-Rémy in 1880 shortly before taking his own life. He painted it on the occasion of the birth of his nephew Vincent Willem, son of his beloved brother Theo. Inside, he chose to represent, as a symbol of nascent life, a freshly blossomed almond tree. Almond blossoms are the first to bloom with the beginning of spring, sometimes even anticipating it by blooming in late winter, and therefore become the symbol of life and the hope it brings with it. Nevertheless, since they tend to fade after a short time they also represent fragility, delicacy. So much, in short, in a single painting, in a simple branch. All this to say that this is one of the Van Gogh paintings that I love most. There is nothing that strikes me more than beauty, pure charm, that what is fragile unconsciously possesses.

WHAT IS USELESS IN YOUR LIFE?

If we took one of these paintings to a gallery today, it would be considered amateur painting. Because other types of paintings are in fashion, often digital, that everyone wants in their living room. Modern art is now considered useless junk. When I go to exhibitions, here for example the Biennale, there are always very few people. Today, more than ever, people judge art as a superfluous thing, which one can do very well without. And I say this as an artist. Talking to so many people, how much they feel that I am an artist, everyone becomes "what a beautiful thing". But if you ask them how many artists' paintings they have bought in their entire life, they say "I'm sorry, nobody". If I ask why they tell me they had more needed things and they used their money for other things. This is really disheartening for an artist but in reality this happens.The painting I put here in this post is a PAUL KLEE's artwork. Would you who look at it think it's worth millions? Yet Christies of London sold a Klee for:

Hammer price: $ 6,767,549 (Christie's, London, United Kingdom, 21/06/2011)
Maybe you found a Klee work in your attic and you think it's the artistic task of some nerdy kid. Because for many people artists waste time, starve and produce useless things. Not all think this thought but most. Even if an artist is quoted a lot of money, he remains one who produced useless things.
"Art is completely useless"

What do you think about it?

This sentence was written by Oscar Wilde, more than a century ago in the preface of his famous short story "The Portrait of Dorian Gray".
In particular Wilde said:

"We can forgive a man for having done something useful if he does not admire it. The only excuse for doing something useless is to admire it intensely. All art is seless."

Beauty for millions of people is a beautiful woman, a beautiful man, an actress, a Greek statue. How much art do you have in your home? How much art would you like?
Why does an artist keep creating? If there is any artist among you and he wants to answer, he can give his idea here. If there is someone who paints as a hobby, you can tell here why they do it and what emotions they feel.

ART FOR HEART SELF

Today anxiety was destroying the walls of my heart. it crushed veins, arteries, nerves, and not even a movie could help me. Yet it was Vermeer. So I was taken by the painful creative fury, shaken like a tree by the wind and since I didn't have the canvas to paint, I took a curtain and cried colors over it. And did I feel good afterwards? no not at all. I've been worse. Because this will be yet another painting that will end up in the attic or burned in the barbecue. There is no hope.

CAMILLE CLAUDEL

CAMILLE CLAUDEL is a french female sculptress. She lives her life in an extraordinary and contradictory context in Belle Époque France where the realization of female identity was still very difficult. Despite the various obstacles, the sculptress managed to establish herself by carving out an unprecedented and not small space for action in art - there are over fifty works that document the entire span of her production - despite the existential junctions that strongly influenced her: the problematic relationship with the family, the strong bond with his brother Paul, who converted will become an exponent of the uncompromising Catholicism of the French society of the times, the love and hate story with the sculptor Rodin and finally the mental illness, the twist in itself - as in the statue of the cover image - and internment in an asylum.

The academy Camille attended was mainly dedicated to sculpture, offered women the same opportunities as men and left the pupils great flexibility in the curriculum. Shortly afterwards Camille decided to move to an atelier in Rue Notre-Dame-des-Champs, where in 1882 Auguste Rodin came to teach. At that time, the master had been fighting for a quarter of a century against the classicist sculpture of the time. After two years under the direction of Rodin, Camille perfectly modeled the human body especially her hands and feet, thus she became one of Rodin's assistants, preparing clay, plaster and armor or modeling the hands and feet of sculptural subjects. Their works in fact in that period are very similar, obviously Rodin used Camille's genius as it was normal at the time to use his assistants. It is also true that we have a large production of Rodin in this period, of Camille almost nothing.
Their well-known love affair, which was born working side by side, leads to fifteen years of a passionate and stormy affair, from which Camille will however emerge exhausted, defeated not only humanly but also as an artist to the point of destroying her own works. Camille ends her relationship with the sculptor after realizing that no marriage would be possible between them - Rodin will always remain attached to Rose Beuret, his constant companion for years that the sculptor will never leave. Most likely, from some sources there is also evidence of an interrupted pregnancy, it seems that this very event has seriously undermined the balance of the young woman. An unhappy love, that for Auguste Rodin, exclusive, tinged with professional jealousies and above all poisoned by the prejudices of society, by the distance and then by the abandonment of Camille by the Claudel family in solitude and in precarious economic conditions.
Camille has always shown that she has a unique talent and genius, she has absolute mastery of movement, think of one of her most famous works La Valse (1895-1905) where movement and stillness are in perfect balance. For the client, the figuration of an embrace was clear and the work even scandalized the inspector of the Ministry of Fine Arts.

Here it is a perfect whole of strength, screwed on itself, pushed by the dynamism of the male figure that wraps the female one tied and held by the dress that descends to the ground. For the artist it is an attempt to grasp life in its movement, in its transformation, in the precarious balance of a tormented bond. What matters is that over time, the artist will not want to depict a single figure, he is not satisfied with the character but wants to tell a story, a complete narrative. A talent, that of Camille, which already leads her to distinguish herself from her peers at the age of 12, took inspiration everywhere for her drawings and clay sculptures from old engravings to anatomical models using her brothers Paul and Louise as models.
Camille had a limp defect and this perhaps led her to seek perfection in art with an impulsive gesture. She was very attached to her father, who was in fact her greatest ally until his death in 1913 - once he died, perhaps the only ally in his life was interned in a mental hospital. Perhaps in Rodin he saw precisely his father, often absent for work: in the Buste de Rodin the master sculptor looks much more than his forty-four years, he looks like an old man with a thick beard, a severe but affectionate father figure.

Camille also had a close bond with her brother Paul, from an early age in fact their great imagination gave them a unique cohesion. Although after his law studies he embarked on a diplomatic career, he devoted himself to art through poetry and dramaturgy, after his conversion to Catholicism in 1886 he became one of the exponents of intransigent Catholicism, that Catholicism that felt public reproach in name of atavistic prejudices for nonconformist women like Camille. Camille's very religious middle-class family reacted to her crises by having her interned in a nursing home for the mentally ill in Montfavet, where she remained for thirty years until her death. According to a journalist of the time, Paul Théodore Vibert, Camille had been arbitrarily interned for persecution psychosis only because her family was ashamed of her and her unconventional behavior.
The story is quite well known today and the French have dedicated two films to it, one in 1988 with Isabelle Adjiani and Gérard Depardieu directed by bruno Nuytten, the other in 2013 with Isabelle Binoche and directed by Bruno Dumont. It was 1913 when her mother and brother Paul sent her to hospital. Camille died in an asylum in 1943, without ever creating works of art again. It is she herself who does not want to be given the materials for sculpting. Yet she still writes very lucid letters to her mother (who will never go to see her), to her brother, to some friends. From these letters Chiara Pasetti freely drew a play entitled Moi, contained in her book, which premiered in Genoa in September with the actress Lisa Galantini in the former asylum of Quarto. The book ends with photographs of many of his works and also some of Rodin's works.

LOVING AN ARTIST

Loved only by those who had brought me into the world, I was a winged-hearted creature. A free creature, who would never have sacrificed the wings of freedom to a stupid and obsolete feeling commonly called love. Armed only with myself, in the evening, I spread my wings above the world and let myself be caressed by the wind, with my soul naked and free of inhibitions. The warm currents squeezed me and the taste of the lack of ties satisfied me; nothing in the world could ever upset my balance. Nothing, I was sure, for nothing, in my eyes, shone more than freedom. They are artists, for me, those who know how to create a unique world in which to take refuge. You, for me, were an artist. And as such, I envied you when, from the bedroom window, I saw the most beautiful paintings I had ever seen take shape on previously white canvases. Then you smiled at me, sent me a kiss and went back to painting. If it was just a joke, or if you really wanted to give me kisses, I don’t know, but the way you looked at me, the curious eyes with which you looked at my tousled hair and my oversized jacket, made me fall back lightly my wings, before spreading them in all their glory and straightening my head. No one would ever overwhelm me, not you, with your gemstone gaze, not anyone else. I was not like you. I was not beautiful, or clear, and I did not look perfect even with the face dirty with acrylic color and the hair gathered in a messy way. I’ve never been like you. I, I told myself, was free. Free from all ties and free from everything that could have binded me to the world. And my greatest wealth was freedom. Of this I am sure. I lived like this, as it happened. I lived for the day, detaching myself more and more from the earthly world and taking refuge in the warmth of my parents’ hugs. Their chests were warm and full of life. Full of love for me, but that love, perhaps, was not enough. That love, perhaps, did not have the color of your paintings and did not represent sunrises and sunsets. That love, I discovered, was not yours. It was inviolate, unconditional, but it did not come from the chest of the only person who, with his paintings and his smile, was able to take my breath away and make me angry. When I realized I loved you, I cried. I cried like I had never done before. One evening when it was raining I went out, on tiptoe I reached towards the sky; towards freedom, but this was so far away. I closed my eyes, as the rain soaked my clothes and weighed me down, I promised myself that feeling would not touch me. His chains would not have destroyed my wrists. I think I’ve never been good at keeping my promises, nor at winning wars. And so, crying, my feet touched the ground and for you, for your paintings and your sunsets, I tasted your lips stained with tempera, drowning in your presence and in your breath, clinging to my shoulders with all of myself. If you had left me, I would have died. I also gave up my only affections; those parents who, when they learned that I loved a girl, closed the door in my face and never reopened it are still just a memory. “Don’t you want to play with me today?” The wind asks me. But my wings are closed now, I hold your hand. That’s okay, you know? Sleep, sleep a little longer, my love. When you wake up, I will still be here. If, however, you find only this letter, look at the sun. Rising, it brings you a message: “She loves you,” he says “More than freedom?” “Yes, more than freedom.”

MY NAME IS AMLETA

Art is his need. An instinctive need to create. An instinctive need to be and communicate one’s being to others. Affirming its existence with the creative act is the only way for Hamlet to live. Feeling such a force within oneself, an energy, an immense explosion, a storm that never settles down. A sea that is always stormy to its depths. Being a river in flood, dangerous for others, not accustomed to strong liquid currents, but a natural and splendid element for her. Art is its power. The power to create from nothing. To give life to what has never existed, which has never been seen, which has never been read. A sublime, divine, most envied power. Art feeds on souls. Art is insatiable, it is its fierce demon, and it has been walking this path all its life looking for an escape. But you never get rid of art because only art makes it free and alive. It is like a second skin and if you take it off you become skinned and you cannot live anymore. Hamlet has art in every cell, like a deadly virus, which never becomes a disease but which accompanies her throughout her life as a faithful travel companion. Art grinds the flesh, the spirit, the whole life. He raises it into the highest sky, being able to see without eyes, hear without ears, draw without using his fingers; and then makes it descend into the most terrible depths of the human abyss. Art is a miracle of life and death. Whoever possesses the gift is condemned to a parallel life. Hamlet goes in and out as if from a window. It goes in and out of itself, feeds itself to the pigs, gives its vital breath, falls apart and then begins again. Who would ever want such a life? Yet many envy it and do not know what it means to have the fire of inspiration that consumes! Art is its condemnation.
She didn’t choose to start drawing, then painting, writing and playing at the same time. A dark force took his hands, and guided his dark energy. He was thus able to empty the pain he felt while living and to enclose it within his creations. Nothing remains of that period: everything burned. Unfortunately, something was saved from his subsequent dark periods, still not gone and up in smoke. Amleta was born on a cursed island, in a sick country, and soon she got rid of her life and the pain took her far away, where she continued to suffer and create, create and destroy, herself, paintings, installations, plays, notebooks, sculptures, … Amleta creates and destroys what he creates. Hamlet is and is not at the same time. He yearns for this perennial creation and has tried several times to free himself from his prison without success. This gift, this power, this torment of colors and words, is the nectar of his days. Everything else is just a bitter side dish.

PHILOSOPHICUS

Not safe as help, as to save you, perhaps from the very beginning I could not save you, from your mystery, your thoughts … bastards able to obscure all that was beautiful around you. I didn’t rush to understand how you didn’t rush to see how I saw you, fragile, alone, confused, but you loved and I didn’t have a message, I didn’t send a message when uncertainty prevailed. Some of the most famous, mysterious, mysterious. Secondly, I was just a fragile troop for this world, a world that is not capable, which is not in the degree of good luck, and you are why I do not love, but you love me, that it is part of this world, so tell me, how is it possible? I would like to feel you at the same time love you.
I fell into one of my pathetic periods of closure. Often, with human beings, good and bad, my senses simply detach, they get tired: I let it go. I am polite. I nod yes. I pretend to understand, because I don’t want to hurt anyone. This is the weakness that got me the most trouble. Trying to be kind to others I often find myself with a ribbed soul, reduced to a kind of dish of spiritual noodles. It does not matter… My brain shuts down. I listen. I answer. And they’re too dull to realize I’m not there …
Porcupines huddle together to fight the cold. Their body, however, is covered with sharp spikes, which causing them pain, forcing them to move away. This is the paradox of porcupines, their need to be close to each other while hurting themselves. Schopenhauer tells it and then Freud is also interested in it, because the same happens in human relations. The closer we get to another, the more we risk being hurt. The pains of one become the pains of the other, the quarrels hurt like quills, and force one to leave. But during the winter, the cold continues to loom, and porcupines left alone risk dying. They then decide to huddle, even though they are aware of getting hurt. The dilemma arises from the paradox: what is the right distance to keep from others? Porcupines will stop suffering when they find the correct distance, not too far away so they don’t freeze, and not too close so they don’t get stung. Even if it hurts, we need others. The closer another person is to us, the more we open up to them and let them be part of us, the more we risk colliding with pain. The more we love, the weaker and more at risk we are, but despite our wounds, love saves our lives. We need to have someone close, but without straying too far from ourselves, from what we are and what we want.
Men were born and raised in a cave, they are chained, then forced to remain imprisoned there, always in the same position. Behind them is a fire that reflects before their eyes the shadows of what is happening in the outside world. This is all they see. One of them, however, manages to free himself and comes out, he is dazzled by the sunlight and sees nothing, he wants to go back to the cave, since he believes only what he had there is true and good. This tells the myth of Plato’s cave. The cave represents the daily life in which we are all imprisoned. The man who comes out of it sees the truth of things, but does not understand it. If none of us are aware of what is in front of us, it is as if that did not even exist. It is not easy, but how many times, perhaps, we find ourselves in front of a happiness, a satisfaction, a kind gesture, a truth, and we do not realize it because it is easier to settle down in our daily life, in the thought that everything is wrong and wrong . It is easier to be sad than to struggle to be happy. It is a gesture that requires effort, violence, but it is definitely worth it. In fact, Plato continues to tell that if man were forced to stay outside and open his eyes to what he sees, over time he would be able to recognize everything, the sun would no longer blind him. And once he saw it, but never would he want to go back to the cave. Even if he did so, the other prisoners would not believe him, they would even be willing to kill him. This is because it is a choice that depends solely on us. We must learn to love what we have and which, too many times, we don’t even recognize. Happiness is a choice, we must have the strength to make it, only in this way will we find our sun.

( All artworks by Kate McDowell)

WHY AMLETA CREATES SOMETHING

Art is his need. An instinctive need to create. An instinctive need to be and communicate one’s being to others. Affirming its existence with the creative act is the only way for Hamlet to live. Feeling such a force within oneself, an energy, an immense explosion, a storm that never settles down. A sea that is always stormy to its depths. Being a river in flood, dangerous for others, not accustomed to strong liquid currents, but a natural and splendid element for her. Art is its power. The power to create from nothing. To give life to what has never existed, which has never been seen, which has never been read. A sublime, divine, most envied power. Art feeds on souls. Art is insatiable, it is its fierce demon, and it has walked this path all its life looking for an escape. But you never get rid of art because only art makes it free and alive. It is like a second skin and if you take it off you become skinned and you cannot live anymore. Hamlet has art in every cell, like a deadly virus, which never becomes a disease but which accompanies it throughout its life as a faithful travel companion. Art grinds the flesh, the spirit, the whole life. He raises it in the highest sky, being able to see without eyes, hear without ears, draw without using his fingers; and then makes it descend into the most terrible depths of the human abyss. Art is a miracle of life and death. Whoever possesses the gift is condemned to a parallel life. Hamlet goes in and out as if from a window. She enters and exits herself, feeds herself to the pigs, gives her vital breath, remains in pieces and then begins again. Who would ever want such a life? Yet many envy it and do not know what it means to have the fire of inspiration that consumes! Art is its condemnation. She didn’t choose to start drawing, then painting, writing and playing at the same time. A dark force took his hands, and guided his dark energy. He was thus able to empty the pain he felt while living and to enclose it within his creations. Nothing remains of that period: everything burned. Unfortunately, something was saved from his subsequent dark periods, still not gone and up in smoke. Hamlet was born on a cursed island, in a sick country, and soon she got rid of her life and the pain took her far away, where she continued to suffer and create, create and destroy, herself, paintings, installations, plays, notebooks, sculptures, … Hamlet creates and destroys what he creates. Hamlet is and is not at the same time. He yearns for this perennial creation and has tried several times to free himself from his prison without success. This gift, this power, this torment of colors and words, is the nectar of his days. Everything else is just a bitter side dish.

THE CONDITION OF ARTISTS IN ITALY

I am an Italian artist and also an art therapist. In my country, Italy, so full of art, we artists are seen as useless people. However, we have some nice things. But our economic value is zero. We are a nullity to this company. I had an art blog and I deleted it. I had a poetry blog and I deleted it. Poetry and art are considered useless things in my country. If you produce you exist but if you don’t produce you don’t exist. It is really sad but now this is the situation.

BEING AN ARTIST

The needs of an artist are different from all those of others. Of course an artist eats, sleeps, goes to the bathroom. He may have things and people he cares a lot about. May have interests and hobbies. But one thing distinguishes him profoundly from all other people: the need for stimulation. An artist feeds his art from himself and from what he sees, knows and experiences. Visual, mental and empirical stimuli are profoundly necessary for every artist because in the absence of these his creative lymph dries up. In fact, if an artist is not put in the conditions of being able to have these stimuli that satisfy his needs, he will slowly fade away. His imagination, not being nourished, will become dry and will find it difficult to give him the input for artistic creation. Just as an animal dies in its instincts if placed inside a cage, an artist dies in his creative life if he is put in conditions that are not favorable to the expression of his artistic talent. Fantasy is like a plant and must be fed with the water of stimuli. If these are lacking, the substance for dreams is missing. It lacks the energy itself to create other dreams and other works. So for this reason it is sometimes said that an artist cannot live life like the others and the same things that others are enough cannot be enough.

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