April 29, 2012

Rodin's hands...

mark horst, "this living hand no. 3" oil on canvas, 22" x 28" 2012

"There they were, these small graceful dancers, like transformed gazelles; the two long, slender arms drawn through the shoulders, through the slenderly massive torso (with the full slenderness of Buddha images) as if made of a single piece, long hammered out in the workshop, down to the wrists upon which the hands then assumed their poses, agile and independent, like actors on the stage. And what hands: Buddha hands that know how to sleep, that lie down smoothly after all has passed, with fingers adjoining, to rest for centuries at the edge of a lap, lying with the palms facing up, or else steeply raised at the writs, invoking infinite stillness. These hands in wakefulness: imagine. These fingers spread, open, starlike, or curved in upon each other as in a rose of Jericho; these fingers delighted and happy or else frightened, displaying at the very end of the long arms: themselves dancing."

from "Letters on Cezanne," Rainer Maria Rilke

April 24, 2012

this living hand

"this living hand no.1" 22" x 28", oil on canvas

This living hand, now warm and capable
Of earnest grasping, would, if it were cold
And in the icy silence of the tomb,
So haunt thy days and chill thy dreaming nights
That thou wouldst wish thine own heart dry of blood
So in my veins red life might stream again,
And thou be conscience-calmed—see here it is—
I hold it towards you.

John Keats

April 14, 2012

horst interview

Here's a little interview I did...

April 3, 2012

Van Gogh's “magnificat”

Vincent Van Gogh, "The Siesta"

I've been reading a little collection of Rainer Maria Rilke's letters [Letters on Cezanne] and at one point he describes his impressions of Vincent Van Gogh's painting. Rilke says that in Van Gogh: "...something of the spirit of Saint Francis was coming back to life...” He goes on to say: “in his paintings… poverty has already become rich: a great splendor from within."

In Luke’s gospel, Mary says this about her baby and about what her pregnancy might mean:
My soul doth magnify the Lord : and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
For he hath regarded : the lowliness of his handmaiden.

He hath put down the mighty from their seat : and hath exalted the humble and meek.
He hath filled the hungry with good things : and the rich he hath sent empty away.

So here is Rilke suggesting, like Mary, that "the hungry" have been filled--that the poor have become rich, and that this has happened in Van Gogh's way of seeing the world.

Maybe Rilke, Van Gogh and Mary were looking in different places and seeing the same thing.