Saturday, December 11, 2010

Ghost of Artists Past

This morning one of my delightful customers introduced me to the art of Louise Nevelson. This education was sparked by the large art piece I have hanging at Domino behind the counter. The completely white piece is constructed of computer packing material on canvas and creates a delightful abstract depiction of what some call an ancient city or others a modern cityscape. Whatever it is you see, Are’ Andi the local HP executive that created this work in the late 1960’s, was without a doubt inspired by Louise Nevelson.

My customer who had the privilege of meeting Louise in her 90’s while he was studying architecture at Cambridge described her small frame and bohemian style. Most often with a scarf tied around her hair and three layers of fake eye lashes, her unique style and brilliant sculptures inspired a principal that gives meaning to things once forgotten. In her words Nevelson described it best, "When you put together things that other people have thrown out, you’re really bringing them to life – a spiritual life that surpasses the life for which they were originally created."

The evolution of her work including the inspiration she gained from a Christmas Gift Box that led her to placing her wood and discarded objects assemblages in sectioned boxes and then stacking boxes to make room in her studio resulting in the vertical direction of her work, brought her to the creation of some of the most impressive and impacting sculptures. Noted as the leading

sculptor of the 20th century, as impressive as her pieces, one of them reaching three stories high, was her charisma and her way of looking at the world. Most of her creations were painted entirely in flat black and she believed in that color, “…black creates harmony and doesn’t intrude on the emotions.” She also explained, “I don’t think I chose it for black. I think it chose me for saying something. You see, it says more for me than anything else. In the academic world, they used to say black and white were no colors, but I'm twisting that to tell you that for me it is the total color. It means totality. It means:contains all."

With fresh inspiration from this incredible woman I am reminded of why I do what I do in this small corner of the world. My shop is my expression and my love of bringing once forgotten pieces to new life and hopefully inspiring others to see things in a different way. Every time someone reacts to something in Domino, whether good or bad, I have achieved my goal…to create my own assemblage…and possibility.

Sometimes people ask me if I’m an artist. To this I have thought about what I do, and how I live. My response has confidently become, “I am a creative. Everything I do is about expressing that creativity.” So when I learned about Louise Nevelson I found confirmation. Everything about the way she lived was art, “Every time I put on clothes, I’m creating a picture.” So is art imitating life or is life imitating art, or do they simply exist in perfect harmony?

Signing off for now,