Monday, May 13, 2013

Have you ever "experienced" art?

About a month ago, I wrote about Marina Abramovic's performance piece called The Artist is Present.  In this piece, she was reunited with a long lost love, and we all got to experience the moment with her (you can see it here).  This moment was obviously much so, that I almost forgot about the experiences of the 1500 other people who sat across from her during the 3 months, or 716 hours and 30 minutes, she sat in the Met's atrium.  

There is a new tumblr page dedicated to all the people who had an emotional experience staring into Marina's eyes.  The page is appropriately named "Marina Abramovic Made Me Cry".  Just looking at some of these photos, I begin to tear up. I have never participated in a piece of artwork like this, but I have been moved to tears while experiencing art...many times.  

One has to wonder what these people were thinking...and feeling...the moment they could not hold back the tears.

Art moves me greatly, and doing a weekly Artist Spotlight post has made me cry more than usual, which is a lot : ) 

In recent memory, my most memorable cry was standing in front of Edouard Manet's painting Olympia in the Musee D'Orsay in Paris, France.  I think Jason may have been a bit embarrassed, but I stood there in front of that massive painting...knowing the woman who I was looking at.  Knowing that she was a painter herself.  Knowing that the closest she was ever going to get to the Salon, was to be a model...and muse...for the master Manet.  Knowing that when this painting debuted at the Salon in 1865, she was perceived to be a prostitute instead of one of the hundreds of nudes gracing the Salon at the time.  I like to think that her brazen gaze was announcing to society that she was comfortable in her own skin, and that for the first time, these people were being stared at as they stared at her naked body.  I LOVED her as soon as I saw her, and I LOVED Manet for giving her the gaze that got his painting banished to the darkest halls of the Salon.  

So, I stood there and cried...while most just saw another nude : ) That is the beautiful role art plays in our lives. 

Have you ever begun to cry while experiencing art?

(all photos are by Marco Anelli, from his book Portraits in the Presence of Marina Abramovic © 2010 via the Tumblr page Marina Abramovic Made Me Cry)

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1 comment:

  1. Hi I'm Heather! Please email me when you get a chance, I have a question about your blog! LifesABanquet1(at)