Journal Entry November 4 2021
I was conversing with a friend of mine (who is also a sculptor) about the full spectrum of emotions that an artist deals with daily. We were discussing Giacometti’s dark moods. I am not sure that our external environments are as much responsible for our agony or bliss as much as our internal terrain. My friend mentioned Giacometti’s small cold studio, and though some of us may see that as uncomfortable all of us have different degrees of what we perceive to be an agreeable and adequate space to work. We choose the environment where we will create where we will feed our emotions and translate our intensity, our spirit, our suffering, our temper and our ecstasy into physical manifestations. I mentioned to my friend that we all struggle with our own demons, as artist we are always trying to keep our appetite alive, sometimes to the degree of our own suffering. We need to manifest our sensations and in doing so we can hold on to them sometimes too long burning ourselves with our own passion. I often experience this in my own act of creation. The hunt for stimulus and ideas frequently leads to an expenditure of energy that feeds me for a period of time but if I linger too long I become exhausted.
Forgive my dramatic vernacular when I say that artist are suppose to be tormented to intense extremes. We want to feel the fire so we can sculpt or paint the smoldering yearning of our personal poetry. When we feel the sting or the pain we can inflame our expression and hopefully stand transparent after the act is complete. I believe our intention is for others to see through our smoke and find their own story.
Maybe some of us suffer, others meditate, some weep into their clay and others joyfully move their brush. But in the end it is the coalescing of a wide continuum of our temperament that always leads us back to our art. It is who we are, it is what we do. The road can be plagued with obstacles, as can any journey in life. It is a privilege to have the time and space to think about life and trace it upon our different mediums. It also an honor to have friends who are artist and bring topics like Giacometti’s dark moods into our conversation.
“Let this darkness be a bell tower.”
Photos © Estate of Alberto Giacometti
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