In Tribute of Great Artists
Life around here has taken on a melancholy tone since we heard that my wife's mother has been diagnosed with cancer in both lungs. In her early 80's, this is tough news. Both my wife and mother-in-law are artists, Martha a printmaker and her mom, Ruth, a painter and printmaker. Both knew they would be artists at age 3 or 4. Both have a singular vision for creativity. They are both best friends and competitors. I can't help but draw parallels to my dad and me (and my brother). We are all pastors in the same denomination and speak to each other at a depth level that others cannot appreciate. The thought of losing a parent/peer/colleague is a searing thought, though the reality of this world
So, what hit me this weekend, in those late Sunday evening reflective hours when my brain is spent from preaching, teaching and conversing, was how unsung great artists are. This was made especially poignant by the NYT's magazine spread on Kiki Smith, New York artist and printmaker. When I asked Martha about her, she brought out a book of Kiki's work and talked about their similar themes and paths. But what makes one artist "found" "known" and others working with relative anonymity? I'm not sure. I don't begrudge great artists, but there are so many more out there. Not unlike pastors, teachers, musicians and others. The few hit the spotlights (for good or ill) and the many labor along.
The older I get, the more I am aware that I am living with and married to a really great artist. So, here's to great artists, wherever you are!