Wednesday, July 21, 2010

On Painter Worship - Rudolf Stingel

In my life, I've had two semi spiritual experiences in the presence of paintings. The first was when I was in College and visiting the Art Institute to see the Gerhard Richter retrospective. I remember literally feeling like I couldn't believe what I was seeing and standing in awe. These images were so beautiful and so impactful. I think in some ways they continue to be influential on how I take pictures.

Three years ago when I was in NY for the Whitney Biennial I had a somewhat similar experience with Rudolf Stingel. This was a much more conceptual high as Stingel is not just a painter, but a conceptual artist, but I remember taking a minute to collect myself and take it all in. It really resonated with me and I haven't ever quite removed it from my mind since.

Following that trip, the MCA here in Chicago did a Rudolf Stingel exhibit that allowed me to see his work in its own context and in its true beauty. It did not disappoint. I was generally thrilled and influenced by it all.

It is my belief that we need to hang onto these experiences tightly as they tend to happen infrequently as we get older. The more we know, the harder it can be to feel, so I am thankful for these memories that remind me how can art can impact.

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