Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Cupid Strikes

It happened today. I walked into a gallery in Chicago and saw some art which knocked my socks off, giving me a feeling very similar to being struck by Cupid's arrow of love. Man, it hits and I go limp, start grinning, and just feel all warm and tingly! Once I finished breathing in the work and asking about the artist and doing the mental gymnastics about whether I could afford it (no!) or had room for it in my little apartment (no, again), I started thinking about the phenomenon of falling in love over and over and over again, something which I feel I do with art. Maybe with people, too, but not as frequently. Is it being fickle?

I have two kids. When pregnant with my second child, I sometimes wondered if I could possibly love a second child as much as I loved my firstborn, my son. That love for my son was so unbelievably strong and powerful, I really didn't know how it would be possible to love another child as much. That is, I didn't know until my daughter, my second child, was born and my heart opened up, expanded, and I discovered I had the ability to love more and more and more, that love isn't finite with limits.

Obviously, one does not have the same kind of relationship with art as with people. Sometimes art is bought and sold, shown and put away, and the back and forth interaction is, in the end, limited. But that powerful emotional response which art can evoke is its own kind of falling in love, and I know that my visual heart's power to expand and love more is as present as that of my relationship heart. I was just talking to a friend about this who works in the theater world, and was glad to learn that when he comes across a great performance, he, too, experiences that kapow!, that unmistakable expression of hope and optimism that love is truly all about. Fickle? I think not.

(Sculpture by Richard Taylor at Gallery KH, Chicago)

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