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"Art is a mirror held up to our hearts"
I thought I was terribly clever when that crossed my mind last night. It means that art shows us who we are, and our reaction to a particular piece of art shows others who we are. Slap it on a t-shirt with a fitting graphic and "woo-hoo!" cha-ching.
Of course, when i think of something terribly clever it's necessary to do a little research to see if any other clever people have existed before me. I googled "art is a mirror" and found similar quotes by Oscar Wilde and Shakespeare which led me to believe I've likely just read it at some point and altered it to my own philosophy. I like mine better.
Most artists enjoy watching people view their work anonymously. It's pretty easy when you're relatively unknown. My favorite was at one of my shows where a couple were walking through the gallery and the guy was more interested in the price tags. He came to one of my bigger pieces, noted how "amazing" it was, looked at the price tag, and threw his arms up in the air and told his companion "See?"
To this day, I don't know what validation he found there on that little rectangular piece of cardstock...
... but he showed me a lot about his heart. (Wish I could tell him I sold that painting at half the price, throwing away many hours of my life.)
Some people pass by my work without so much as a glance, others dwell on them for longer than I can understand. I hear different takes on the same works all the time. People often find details they didn't notice at first, and their take on it completely changes. I like it when people find something of themselves in my art, and keep searching for more. We are all "more."
I try to avoid looking in mirrors: real and metaphorical. When I finish a painting, my eyes become like those that pass by without so much as a glance. The emotional shift I experience is jarring sometimes. I've left my heart splattered on canvas, nothing to you, but fuck do I feel it now.
Anyway.... Art is a mirror held up to our hearts.
Chance the look.