Samsara in the Art Gallery—from Monet to Dali
From Monet to Dali is a great exhibition in the Vancouver art gallery that exhibits the pain of humanity in the most extraordinary artist’s touch of brash. As you walk in the gallery’s foyers being stared at by the framed portraits, you won’t find even one portrait that reflects joy. The extraordinary portraits emanate sadness, emptiness, despair and the sense of being lost, often with the 18th century custom of a polite and appropriate manner.
The portraits are not only real in their outlines; they are real in the emotions they share with you. As you look carefully into the faces and deep into their eyes you can recognize your own moments in which you are carried by the momentum of life, not knowing why what you feel, is so painful or empty. The exhibition is a great reflection of the rooted belief and expression of Westerners, that life must be painful.
In ‘Dessert after Dinner’ by Pier Bonnard you can hear the silence of lovers that realize each for her or himself that the love they rely so much on, as a panacea, doesn’t fill up the inner hidden cracks they carry within them.
All the words have been used up; all the touches have been replaced with the self contemplation of what’s next? If love didn’t work out what is left to hope for?
In ‘Life’ by Picasso you can see the western interpretation of the yogi and Buddhist concept; samsara, the cycle of life and death that is coated with suffering
Look at the eyes of the lady of Edmond Francois. They are dead as there is nobody home. What the chair is embracing, is, an external prettiness and appropriate manner with no emanation of prana or life force.
Watch the deep pain in Rodin’s ‘Heroic Head’
One of the dictionary definitions for hero in Classical Mythology is:
“A being of godlike prowess and beneficence who often came to be honored as a divinity.”
So even divinity illuminates in the beam of suffering; part of the essence of our existence. Rodin’s thinker definitely doesn’t think about joy because joy is a state not a thought.
Modigliani turned pain into a delicate make up shade that made women utterly beautiful.
The pain is obvious; the joy is to be discovered.
I was standing in front of this incredible painting by James Tissot, named ‘Juillet’ for almost half an hour, fascinated by the detailed work of the fabric.
Isn’t she familiar to us? The woman with all the possible comfort that life can offer, and still, she feels empty, unsatisfied and uncontented.