Thursday, October 6, 2011

My Birthday, Art Nouveau and the Hope required in Art

Its my birthday and I am sitting researching Art Nouveau. I love researching art and design, well, I love research. The whole exploration of a topic or person from history or today is just very exciting as you uncover more information, you get a better understanding. What draws me continually to Art Nouveau (though this time I am beginning an Essay on Guimard and Art Nouveau) is their ornamentation. However in Art Nouveau ornamentation is the essence of the objects design. The organic flowing curves and lines of Horta's Tassel house and Guimard's Metropolitan Entrance are the application of art on an object. The utility of the object is not restricted by the art it is enhanced and gains more value as a whole. These bespoke creations are about not bringing nature into the house but of make the house closer to nature.

Plants, insects, water were all used in the creation of Houses, furniture, wallpaper, posters, cutlery and carpet. They all used nature as their influence and inspiration. Now most people will begin to use Guimard's Metropolitan Entrance or maybe Gaudi and they would have a wonderful example for Art Nouveau. For me none compare to the completeness of Victor Horta's Tassel House in Brussels. Its a national treasure, you can visit. The place seems like Horta took a forrest and turned it into marble, wood and steel to make a house. To quote from James Grady's Nature and Art Nouveau "A Horta room seems to grow and blossom, to be composed of live forms controlled by a sensitive designer." Now if that's not a wonderful image that we can take to see ourselves as the creation made by the creator, I think I should give up theology and art.

Its my birthday as I said before, and, a few years ago I would never have admitted that I was fearfully and wonderfully made. In fact there was a time when I considered myself a weed with thorns. Other than a flower that grows and blossoms by the grace of the sensitive creator God. God calls us to acknowledge that despite what we see in the world there is more beauty in it than evil. That when God made all things and called them VERY GOOD, God meant it and still means it today. We are very good creations with the ability like Horta to create beauty either with our hands, voices, minds, bodies or just with who we are. My prayer is that you and I are able to grow and blossom in time with the sensitive creator who knows that you are VERY GOOD.

Art was always made with the hope that it could change the world. We need to make art with the Hope that God made us to be VERY GOOD and base that hope in our art. Not as kitsch but with the reality that good works of art get mentioned because they are good works of art. If Horta's Tassel House can lead me thinking about myself this way then what would art made with God's promise of resurrection and renewal in the form of Jesus' resurrection bring about? I believe the correct internet response here is - Challenge Accepted.

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