“Art is an escape from reality.” – Henri Matisse
There is a massive construction project taking place near my home. It is amazing to watch the earth movers reconfigure a flat field into a topographical landscape while a large building of brick and concrete is seemingly born overnight. While I can wax poetic about the loss of our vista, the greatest disruption was the loss of my internet for four plus days…no tv, no email, no google searches, NO CONNECTIVITY! Yes, I was able to answer emergency emails and even pay a few bills via my telephone, however this used up data and resulted in roaming charges. The days weren’t as disrupted as I busied myself with home and gallery projects, but the evenings lingered long and slow until bedtime. I hated the feeling that I was missing something!
Of course, this jumpstarted a reflection of my own dependency upon my connectivity. I do often text friends rather than call. My excuse is they can respond on their own time where telephoning may be a jarring interruption. I even reference to hearing from or talking to a friend when texting. I am practicing the millennial interpretation of a conversation and its quick, efficient and basically one-sided. And I have participated in and been victimized by misinterpreted texts or emails, as memes, likes, and LOLs cannot possibly express the intent or receptivity of the message.
I am fairly new to Facebook and am very ambivalent about this communication medium. My voyeurism is piqued by glimpses into the personal lives of friends and strangers alike and must admit a very guilty pleasure in Fb “stalking” past acquaintances. I take delight in seeing the postings of children, grandchildren, social activities, and new artwork of friends and colleagues. Further, our small town hosts several pages that are chock full of helpful hints, local referrals and genuine acts of benevolence and kindness which endorses why I live here. Yet I am still not all together comfortable with the display of very personal feelings and emotions which, to me, should be expressed face-to-face. Like the airplanes in Ocean City with the message trailers, these public claims of love, adoration and commitment invoke sentiments of humor, envy, and embarrassment. Similarly, admonishing someone on Facebook, especially someone you claim to care about, is like spanking your child in the center aisle of Acme. I may agree with the sentiment but not the mode of delivery.
So what personal epiphanies and ah-ha moments did I experience in this 4-day respite from media. I don’t think I experienced any great enlightenment, as I ran away to my gallery. It is in these paintings that I find my reality. There is no masking the suggestive feelings expressed in a painting as the artist is not shielded by technology. The artist, in their most vulnerable, invites you to find your own emotions, opinions, and sentiments in their work. I long for our return to a safe environment where we can chat, discuss and banter with guests, new friends and old. I want to hear which paintings ignite their passions and why they are drawn to another. I want to see facial expressions: smiles, smirks and frowns. But in the meantime, I will continue to connect with my artists and their inspiring and evocative works of art.
To find your personal connections, outside WiFi, please visit our gallery in Chestertown or shop virtually at www.lespoissonsgallery.com .