Life in Art
December 2, 2011 Leave a comment
Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures. ~Henry Ward Beecher
The beauty of life is depicted in art. But who has a solid definition of beauty?
For traditional art appreciators, this work of Marius Funtillar may be seen as a gory photograph filled with muscles and bones; an unconventional way to depict man. They may also see the sense of disorganization at its foreground; a confusing allegory of seemingly unrelated materials.
But this work, at least as far as I understand Marius, his work and his life philosophies, is how he teaches us some virtues that not even the most righteous can teach in deed and word.
Our life is like a canvas; it begins empty and ready to be folded and hung, painted and drawn, stored with emptiness or colored with vivid hues of memory, preserved for future use or thrown away. It is a reality that begins and blank and, in the end depending on our liking, may end as blank as when it began.
This work is filled with skin-strapped depictions of human anatomy, which, according to the symbology of the artist, represents pain and suffering at the most human levels. He decided to represent a life that all people, regardless of achievement, live with. Life is not all cotton candy and ponies. There’s suffering that comes with it.
Perhaps nothing can bring more unimaginable pain and suffering than living on this earth. It shall not be called a feat, the fact of getting through it with resilience, if it’s an easy road to Burger Machine. And Marius captured that in his work through the vivid crimson lines that cover the muscle and the depressing shades of white that embraces the bones.
Thirteen people are depicted in the work, all famous in their own cultures or in the global stage, have one thing in common; they’re all dead; and most died by suicide. How could life be depicted through a death filled work?
The concept is simple but is hard to grasp and muster. No matter where you look at it, or how you understand it, it teaches us to be patient.
Let me lift as an example Ninoy Aquino (2nd from the left). Exiled by the Marcos administration in 1980, he decided to go back home in 1983 against the advise of many, citing an assassination attempt. But Ninoy, immortalizing himself with the quote “The Filipino is worth dying for”, decided to go home anyway, and was gunned at the tarmac of our airport.
In many respects, this adamant desire to go back home may seem heroic. But for students and observers of history, Ninoy was too hard headed and impatient, and cannot wait for his turn. Ain’t this true for most, if not all, of us? Don’t we find our nation worth living for more?
Patience is difficult to master; it requires a lot of waiting, sometimes for all of our lives. As we can all see in the work of Marius, it would’ve been a different situation if their emotional state remained frozen, at least temporarily, at this state; waiting. Should we not continue waiting for our times to come, for our fruits to be ripe and strike?
I’m pretty sure that no matter where this work hangs, even in the darkest corners of an art gallery, its share of light will come. Patience is key. There is beauty in art, but moreso, there is beauty in patience.