17 May 2010

Niki de Saint Phalle and John Keats

Two paintings (relief collages really) from Niki de Saint Phalle which have obviously haunted me since I saw them last fall. Honestly, I had never liked nor been remotely interested in what I had seen of her large output as an artist. But curiously of course, one is always changed, pulled out of one's ideas and preconceptions through the course of a creative and changing life. This has happened to me on many occasions, I am thankful to admit. How is it that our restless minds and hearts are cut down in the flash of a moment? I can see in myself that I selfishly guard "my ideas" once I have embraced them. Why  embrace some ideas and not others? But that is another question which deserves to be looked at another time. What interests me today is how quickly I am immobilized by a piece of Art. Is it not the same to be immobilized by beauty? Ultimately by love itself? BY truth in fact? And this is a a personal love as well, one I cannot share with others. It is for me alone. I cannot impose it on others yet I know that I have certainly tried over the years to very, very patient friends. I am learning to hold this feeling close to my heart. I shall let John Keats speak for others.

In the meantime the world throws itself upon me, endless waves of random beauty as if, I, a sandy beach am a helpless victim. 

How grateful am I that its Beauty and Truth which alone seem to have the strength to overcome my prejudices. 

And as Keats said in the final refrain from Ode to a Grecian Urn:
'Beauty is truth, truth beauty, - that is all ye need to know on earth and all ye need to know'

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