Friday, January 30, 2009

Broken Strings are still strings

My works are usually aimed at unveiling a certain truth I find to be meaningful and evident in my life. My art also tries to depict life the way I see it and all of the beauty and tragedy I've discovered through time.
Over Winter break I made two pieces of art. I gave them both away as a Christmas and a birthday present purely because I don't have all the money in the world. One piece was entitled "Broken strings are still strings." This work was a portrait of one of my best friends. He was playing guitar and one of the E strings was broken. For the strings and part of the body of the guitar I wrote lyrics to a song called "You stay here" by Richard Shindell.

You stay here
And I'll go look for wood
Do not fear
I'll be back soon enough
Do not let the fire die
Neither let it burn too bright

You stay here
And I'll go look for bread
And if I can
Some sugar for the kids
Dry your eyes - I'll be alright
I know where they've laid the mines

You stay here
And I'll go look for coats
There may still be
Some out on the road
We'll wash them clean with melted snow
The kids don't ever have to know

You stay here
And I'll go look for guns
I think I know
Where they've hidden some
Cause if the Tiger comes one night
We won't go without a fight

You stay here
And I'll go look for God
Not so hard
Cause I know where he's not
I will bring him back with me
Make him listen - make him see

You stay here
And I'll go look for wood

This piece represents the everyday trials and the kinds of things that can truly break us and smother our sense of self and understanding. The kinds of things that can stifle our fire. I wanted this gift to be a declaration of not only who my friend is in my eyes but also to be a sentiment and piece of advice to my friend. If ever he feels to the point that he cannot overcome his struggle I want him to persevere and continue playing his guitar even if his string is broken; when everything is bitter and cold I want him to search for things that are sweet and warm; to protect his identity within himself and what he holds dear; to make the most out of his disposition. He believes in being completely truthful with himself and others but when he is broken, it is hard for him to be stable and a source of happiness and inspiration for himself. This piece was to encourage him to continue playing his song even when the fire is almost completely drawn away. It is also a sentiment to allow him to see that entrusting himself with his beliefs is something he must do in order to keep his flame alive. "You stay here, and I'll go look for wood." Even when the struggle seems insurmountable, continue to feed your fire, continue to learn, continue to feel, continue to ignite inspiration. Take the darkness you feel and empower it. Take the darkness and enlighten it. Delve into and find your self and see your struggles as a part of yourself, not something to extinguish, but to embellish and enthrall you.

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