Sunday, November 22, 2009

Art, Love and Creativity

On Saturday, Pope Benedict invited 250 internationally famous artists to the Sistine Chapel and addressed them by saying that he wished to "express and renew the Church's friendship with the world of art, a friendship that has been strengthened over time; indeed Christianity from its earliest days has recognized the value of the arts...........
I love the artwork in the Sistine Chapel. Michelangelo was a genius, (obviously!) and a great Renaissance artist. He apparently complained a lot while painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, but it is considered one of the greatest masterpieces of all time. Years later he was commissioned to paint the Last Judgment (1534-1541) on the altar wall of the chapel as a warning about the frailty of life and the Universe. My last visit to Vatican City was in the year 2000. I think every Catholic should see Rome and the Vatican before they die. It should be on everyone's "bucket list." 
I went, with my family, to Central Park in Manhattan in 2005 to see, "The Gates," the art display in the park made up of 7,503 vinyl gates with nylon panels. It attracted more than five million people during the two weeks it was exhibited. It was most impressive and unique. Sadly, last Wednesday, Jeanne-Claude, who collaborated with her husband Christo on "The Gates" died at the age of 74. In an interview in 2002, she said, "We want to create works of art of joy and beauty, which we will build because we believe it will be beautiful...The only way to see it is to build it. Like every artist, every true artist, we create them for us."
Mayor Bloomberg was quoted as saying, "The Gates was one of the most exciting public art projects ever put on anywhere in the world-and it would never have happened without Jeanne-Claude." What a great tribute to an artist. What an amazing artistic couple. Her death must be a great loss to her husband, Christo. May she rest in peace and beauty. 

Genius is eternal patience