Sunday, October 14, 2012

"Pensées" by Irving Amen

A comment on one of my recent blog posts compared one of my prints to that of Irving Amen. So I checked Amen out, and in addition to feeling flattered that one of my works would be compared to his, I'm shocked that I didn't know about him before since his prints are striking and his work spans decades. In fact, the artist only passed away last year at the age of 91. Here's a link to his official webpage for those who would like to check out more of his prints (as well as sculptures and paintings.) Also, there is a lovely article about Amen written in 2011 that can be read here.

The word pensées has a primarily Christian association due to the writings by Christian apologist Blaise Pascal of the same title. However, the term literally means "thoughts", and the imagery here transcends a narrowly Christian interpretation. Especially when viewed in context with the rest of Amen's work that expresses broad religious tolerance, and the fact that Amen himself was Jewish. Here are my thoughts on this Pensées:

I am reminded of those moments right after deeply experiencing or creating art. The senses so profoundly engaged for a period of time, and now suddenly there is silence and air to breath and reflect. Sitting in the seat at a movie theater, unable to move under the weight of thoughts and emotions as the closing credits roll across the screen. These are moments that engage the whole body, felt not only in the heart, but in muscles, and skin, and bones. For a brief reverie, the world is washed anew. The look of colors and faces is altered, and the very air surrounding us seems pregnant with connotation. Though we cannot live inside such moments, they make life more worthwhile.

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