On living through art…

There is quite a bit of art in the world that I truly love. From friends photography to ancient sculptures, I’m kind of a sucker for art.
There are two pieces that I’ve been in love with for a really long time.
Water Lilies by Claude Monet

and

Winged Victory (Nike)

I’ve loved Water Lilies for as long as I can remember. I honestly don’t know the first time I saw a photo of the painting, but I will never forget the first time I saw the piece in person. December 2000. In Paris. At the Musee d’Orsay. It was then housed on the second floor of the museum and I just sat down and stared at it. The painting is enormous…takes up a wall in the museum. I sat on a bench near it and looked at it. I was with my mom and sister that day. They walked away from the painting without realizing I was still sitting there. I must have been in that room for a half hour or more before they came back to get me. It was (and still is) a very happy place for me to be.

But if there’s one piece of art that truly moves me to tears, it’s Winged Victory. She’s just stunning. An absolute mass of strength and beauty. It sits at the top of a massive stairwell in The Louvre. I remember walking around the corner and coming up on her. Holy God, she is beautiful. I took photo after photo of her and then, much to my great dismay, all the film from my first trip to Paris got exposed and I lost everything. It was a bad day when I found that out. Then, in 2007, I was given a small bronze statue of her and I about cried. She sits on my dresser and is filled with loads of memories. And, in a brilliant twist, I had the chance to see her in real life about a year and a half ago. And much like the first time, I was stunned by how beautiful she is in person…and, mercifully, technology had advanced such that I had a digital camera that day so no worries about exposed film!

There’s probably a million other works of art I could tell you I love. The art and writings that I saw in Japan were breathtaking, not necessarily because of their beauty, but because of how ancient they are. There’s nothing quite like looking at a journal entry from an emperor who lived in the 1200s. I mean honestly. I can’t even wrap my head around how old that is.

Buildings alone, pretty much anywhere but America, are works of art, in and of themselves.

But yes, if I have to choose favorites, Water Lilies and Nike are the tops for me. 

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