Does that which doesn’t kill you really make you stronger?
During one of the worst weather days Toronto has ever seen, 1LoveTO suggested that if you found the weather too cruel, you might want to check out the AGO. They quite rightly added #Art and #Inspiration to their tweet, knowing that art can inspire us through tough times. And the Basquiat exhibition, in particular, (now on at the AGO) gives off a lot of heat.
But if spending some time at the AGO can help, would buying art be even better? And if you were buying art for warmth, what kind of art would you want?
So I thought I’d take a poll. Of the photos below, which one would you rather be spending time with today?
“The Beach” is where I’d be if I didn’t have a full schedule, so this photo of a painted one perks me up. I picked this one because there’s more to it than just another beach shot. There’s something odd and funny and lovely about how well the painter mapped his ideal escape onto a working stage. I love the door, the lights and the candy-colours he chose. And there’s something else that’s not in the picture but in my memory of it: It stands beside the boardwalk at Hollywood Beach, so it mimics the real beach just behind it. Unfortunately, I took this at night and never got back to capture that wider perspective.
“February Blues” is hardly the kind of artwork that most people want to buy. Yet everyone I’ve shown it to has said how it perfectly it captures the hardship of winter. When I ask if they identify with it, they all nod “Oh ya”, that’s me right there. <Men point to the man on the left; women to one of the hooded characters to his right> I’ve loved working on it because it reminds me of our toughness, of who we are and what we get through. And yes, getting through makes us tougher.
Art and drama are all about recognition. They were invented to connect us and to get us through. If you look at art buying that way, you may surprise yourself buying art that inspires and projects you.
And when you buy, you might want to hang it where you can see it when you most need to be reminded that you can make it through.
Embrace the cold! It’s making you tougher, stronger, better.