Flowing in Florence – Part 1
The flickering fire on the candle casts a dancing shadow on my book as I am writing this. My train of thoughts stops as I notice the dancing shadow colliding with the moving shadow of my hand as it writes. How beautiful this collision is! A simple art is dancing on my book pages. I love to imagine that they are called ‘The Happy Shadows’.
As a painter, I find art in the simplest things and forms to an extent, in some odd moments too. Every morning, I admire how free the toothpaste foam flows with the running tap water as I am rinsing my mouth. So free, so versatile, and ever flowing. I want to be exactly like you, toothpaste foam in running water.
Art is my profession. And, it never seems easy. To the people who have tirelessly asked me on how I make a living from it, I can honestly tell you that the income is never stable. But, I never grow tired of making art. Never tire of expressing emotions and painting stories onto my canvases. The people. Their eyes. Their souls.
A woman congratulated me at my solo [Art and Emotion] exhibition last November with tears in her eyes, “I can feel the children in your paintings. They touch my heart.” Whilst another man said to me, “Your painting of Mr Lee Kuan Yew reminds me of why my mother cried in front of the television exactly when this scene was first broadcasted. I was too little to understand why but now, I do.” When my paintings were first exhibited in Italy, a renowned artist said to me, “You seem to be able to immortalize a soul in your painting.” These words of appreciation, these emotions from within, these stories through time, again and again, they make me pick up my paintbrush to paint tirelessly.
It has been truly wonderful to be able to do what I love and flow like a river into the journey where my art takes me. As ‘The Happy Shadows’ dance on my book pages, I am writing this in The City of Art, Florence.
I am staying in Florence during the whole of April. It is what I consider as a rest in between 2 art exhibitions, one in March [1st International Biennale of Art, Umbria ] in Umbertide and another one [Rom Art] in Rome, May. Why do I choose to stay in Florence? I don’t know.
Florence is where my imagination runs wild. An overwhelming feeling runs through my body when I get close, so close, to the paintings, sculptures and architectures of genius artists who had made their mark in the art world to this very day.
Imagine how these artists were once doing what they were passionate about during their time before they became famous art masters. Everything happened here in Florence. If walls could talk, they would have told us about the wondrous stories of the toiling hours these artists worked, of their high expectations, and of course, their stories too.
《A Renaissance Art Master》
Among the Renaissance masters like Leonardo da Vinci, Donatello, and Giotto, one of my favourite artists was Michelangelo Buonaroti.
Michelangelo was massively talented and successful during his time but he also had a reputation of being stubborn, short-tempered and sarcastic (although I take that as his wit). When he was a young student in the home of the powerful Medici family, Pietra Torrigiano who was talented but short-tempered, landed his fist on Michelangelo’s face after a casual remark made by the latter. The blow was so hard that left a broken nose on Michelangelo, a mark that he would later carry to his grave. Interestingly, it was also Michelangelo’s disfigured nose that the experts recognized in his sculptures that this genius had in fact sculpted himself as a character into some of his works.
The young Michelangelo was once dared at Piazza Repubblica that he was not able to draw a human face. Undeterred, he took the challenge and carved a drawing on the wall by holding a chisel behind his back. Thanks to that challenge, we now get to witness this drawing and have a taste of an idea of just how Michelangelo felt during that time. This is also the only sculpted drawing that we can touch. However, I prefer to admire it at a close distance to touching it with my hand as a desire to protect the longevity of this drawing in my own capacity.
Michelangelo carved this drawing humantestosteronebooster on the wall by holding a chisel behind his back.
One of Michelangelo’s masterpieces, The Statue of David, was completed in 1504. The artist was barely 30 years old! Earning fame at a young age, Michelangelo had been working laboriously throughout his life, with expectations so high that he would scrap off his work if he felt it was not satisfactory and he would begin to work again. It was this unending pursuit of perfection that had lent his remarkable works to be admired for centuries. A lesson that touched me deeply: Even a genius artist works hard to achieve his goals.
When he passed away at a ripe age of 89, he was a multi-millionaire leaving behind a huge fortune and estates to his nephew. And the most important of all, he left behind a legacy to which many of us are able to study or enjoy to this day.
Read Chinese Article: 佛罗伦萨游第一篇