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November 3, 2009 / Hannah

Various Avenues

I just love architecture. I think it’s fascinating. And music, and art, and graffiti (artistically done), and poetry and books and short stories…. good foods… Humans are so expressive. I love that.

When I picture a garden, I think of trees lining a long stretch of soft green grass, running on and on up to a mountain. When I see a Kandinsky I think Rhapsody in Blue. I hear Rachmaninov and think of Tolstoy. The mouse in Ratatouille saw fireworks and Beethoven in a piece of cheese and a strawberry. There’s expression in perception. In imagination.

You know what’s so sweet about expression: it’s like a part of God mirrored in a person or what they’ve created. The modernists built stark, straight and imposing buildings–your typical capitalistic skyscraper. What does that say about the way they saw the world and their reaction to it? The Baroque period was all about the senses. Their cathedrals and churches were overwhelmingly colorful and detailed, full of images and ornaments and textures. The Catholics were especially into connecting to God through the senses, while the Protestants continued to follow the neoclassical Renaissance traditions of simplicity, connecting to God primarily through intellect.

Chopin and Debussy helped to pave the way for impressionism in music as Manet and van Gogh did in painting. It was a new aesthetic in their time period. Now we have sculptures of giant purple balloon dogs in the Louvre. Where do we draw the line between artistic expression and the ridiculous?

Some things have common symbolism. Mountains are generally aesthetically pleasing and majestic. Jazz music is relaxing and uplifting… So on. Other things are more subjective. The word Blue, the poem ‘Renascence’, lightening, may evoke quite different responses based on personal experience and personality.

There’s just a lot to say about art.


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