Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Art I Love and Why You Should Love it too: take i

Hey, blogosphere: I want to talk art.

I've had some sort of lingering writer's block for, like, a year now, but art, you guys. It's the one thing I've never run out of words for. Maybe because there's so much to talk about and so many ways to discuss it and wonder about it. It's just exciting to me. I had to give a presentation on some sort of French artist in AP French last week and I stood up in front of my class and just started speaking French about Matisse, like, without worrying about my conjugations or anything at all. I was just speaking French and of course it happened while I got to talk about art.

So. This shall be the first installment of my newest ongoing series here at le blog: Art I Love And Why You Should Love It Too. I want to talk about what makes it beautiful and what people think about it, what people thought about it, where it came from, why it looks the way it does, because art feels the realest to me.

So I suppose it ought to all start from the beginning.

Meet the Nike at Samothrace. The Winged Victory. The Hellenistic Beauty.

This. This is one of my favorite pieces of art ever. It’s hard for me to even put it into words because I loved it before I ever understood art history at all, before I understood the context (Hellenistic Greece) or where her head went (nowhere special, just somewhere in time) or why she was flowing (Hellenistic Greece, again) or anything about her really except that she was simply the most beautiful thing I had ever seen and I loved her. I love her. I love this piece without words, which makes her special probably for that reason alone.

I love The Winged Victory like I love holding hands or sleeping in or reading chick lit. It's simple to me. It doesn't need explaining. She doesn't need serious art history lessons to explain why she's wonderful. She's not Matisse or Picasso or Pollack or Rothko (all of whom we will discuss) who take understanding to appreciate. No one's requiring that you consider her or understand her or appreciate her. You just love her. I just love her.

So she's in the Louvre, right? In Paris. So the Nazis start to bomb Paris, right? The Beauty is actually in a million little pieces (which you can kind of see below) and if the Louvre got rocked, it was Sayonara to Nike.

And to make matters worse, she sits at the top of a flight of stairs:

So these workers at the Louvre lifted her off her pedestal and carried her to safety in some sort of hide-out for the rest of the war.

Art saves us, you guys. Art holds our hands and lets us sleep in and reads us chick lit, guys. Art is what brings us home and reminds us that it's okay to be human and we have to save it back. I mean, in my heart, the Nike at Samothrace has a soul and she was just stuck up there just as afraid of dying as the rest of us are, and she needed saving.

To be honest, The Hellenistic Beauty is a work I've never gotten all too technical with. It almost ruins it for me if I start to think of her as a production piece from an art historical period to explain why she is the way she is. She simply is. She's just the Hellenistic Beauty. The Winged Victory. The Nike at Samothrace, and she still leaves me wordless, and there's a part of me that just wants to remain that way, at least where she's concerned.

I realize this is hardly a scholarly and technical way to start off my deep discussions of art and art history, but this is the reason I ended up in AP Art History with Gina last year and the reason I'll study art history no matter where I end up next year and for years and years after that. Because I saw her, and I felt something, and that's what art is supposed to do.

"The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls." -Pablo Picasso

Sunday, April 14, 2013

A Post Where I Preach to You About Life

I was a great journaler for, like, two seconds there, right after I ruined my life. Ha. Not very many of you know about that, do you? Well, blogosphere, I ruined my life one time. My only advice to you is to avoid ruining yours at all costs. The point is, I suddenly had an enormous amount of time to sit around and bask in my own misery and journal about disaster.

The times in my life when I have been an awful journaler seem far more numerous than the times when I've been really wonderful -- Times when I've been an awful journal girl:
1.) my first kiss
2.) my first hearbreak
3.) the primetime of friendgroup
4.) falling in love (all times)
5.) Japan/New York trips
6.) that one time when Matt Colemere sort of put his lips in my hair at the Highland Fling and me and Avery and Kait had to talk about it on the phone for, like, 80 hours
7.) Sterling Scholar goodness with Hailey James
8.) Any show I've ever been in

Like, one time, this crazy ordeal went down and I literally wrote in my journal the basics of what happened and then "it was crazy and it was crazy" and went to call Avery (who, to this day, sometimes still says to me, "and it was crazy and it was crazy").

This is my tragedy: My life starts to get wonderful and I start to get awful at recording its wonder. Which is sad because when I look back, I want to be able to say, "I did wonderful things like see Tokyo and fall in love and have a wonderful friendgroup and one time Matt Colemere got back from Europe earlier than expected and Kaitlyn lent me a sweater and Emily curled my hair and Avery fixed my makeup and then it worked, apparently, because he, like, sort of put his lips in my hair that night" (although it didn't really work in the long run (which is okay (because that's how life works))).

The point is. Here I am. Here I am, four months later, having picked up the little pieces of my life and sifted through them, tossing out the ugly pieces, lacing up running shoes, rolling out the yoga mat, dusting off the windowsill, piecing together a nicer puzzle, and I'm the worst journaler ever again.

Suddenly I'm falling in love and making friends and hotel reservations and flying to New York on a Thursday and going to prom and sitting in Mr. Beeson's room getting my senior pictures taken and wondering how everything passed so quickly and singing along with ABBA in the kitchen and eating Oreos with peanut butter and studying for AP tests and understanding physics and getting ready for college and still calling Avery and Kaitlyn at least once a week to say things like "it was crazy and it was crazy" and filling up the gas tank and getting home at two in the morning and learning to play beer pong (except with Hawaiian Punch so no need to get your panties bunched up) and hugging my best friend Morgan and checking on Mallory and experimenting with green eyeliner and harmony laughing and wishing all the world would bend to Hailey's will and holding my sisters and eating salmon and singing as much as possible in the car and suddenly I haven't put any of that anywhere in my little floppy-cover Moleskin notebook.

It's funny to me that I even mentioned the fact that I once ruined my life. Just yesterday I was talking to my hairdresser about the fact that the entire point of social media is to make everyone else think that your entire life consists of good food and getting accepted to your dream college and being surrounded by cute boys and best friends and nothing bad ever happens to you. That's what most of my social media seems to scream. I just want you to know that yes, I have all sorts of good food and yes, I did get accepted to my dream college and sure, I take pictures when I'm surrounded by cute boys and best friends, but life isn't perfect; I ruined mine once.

But what I want you to know more than that, is that I put it back together. My life is pretty wonderful. There are smoothies and prom dates and new friends and old friends and cool aunts and funny parents and scary movies and warm showers and sisters who are just innately lovely. No matter what happens to you, you're going to come out of it better and stronger and happier and even if you don't get it down in your journal, it's happening; your life is happening and it's good and God watches over you and wants good things for you. Whatever happens to you that is sad or scary or hard, I promise you it won't last forever, it's just a chance to sift through the pieces that aren't so pretty and it's not going to be easy and you might feel like it isn't always worth it but it is.

This has been a blog post.

"The most important thing is to enjoy your life -- to be happy -- that's all that matters." -Audrey Hepburn
-Addy B