Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Paint for the moment

The French do the cooking.
The Italians are in charge of hospitality.
The Germans are in charge of organization.
And the British are the police.

The British do the cooking.
The French are in charge of hospitality.
The Italians are in charge of organization.
And the Germans are the police.

Someone sent me the above list via email. It made me stop to wonder about the modern concept of an after-life across differing cultures and nationalities. Do we all speak the same language or is it too a post-Babel land? Is the presence of art considered the reward or punishment? – my hell would be eternity stuck in a room full of saw-blade painting enthusiasts, with the television blasting the QVC channel during a Thomas Kinkade print sale marathon.

I was raised to minimize emphasis on earthly success in order to achieve an afterlife reward. Needless to say, I found that approach contradictory to my self-styled importance as a painter. The very subject of my work has slowly become the exploration of society in nature as it relates to the importance of living life in a particular place – to the fullest. So where does that leave me personally as an artist searching for immortality through the exploration of the impermanent? I’m personally resigned to indifference with regard to the overall concept of an afterlife. While I’m not stating that all artists are removed from ideals of heaven and hell, I do recognize that in my case concentration on the attainability of a post-mortem reward is counter-productive; or to be more exact - an interference in my search for earthly permanence. – DN

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