Ever heard that? It’s easy to forget that although Michelangelo is a standard for artistic excellence, he suffered many of the issues artists often do- finding success against the odds. His mom died when he was six and his business -oriented dad wasn’t too keen on his career choice.
Fortunately, Michelangelo grew up in Florence during the Italian Renaissance, got noticed by contemporary artists and ultimately associated himself with the deep pockets of Lorenzo di Medici. Funding is a huge asset for an artist. Lorenzo was a leading citizen who housed him in his palatial home and bought lots of artwork. Huge pieces we recognize today, like the Pieta, and the Sistine Chapel were commissioned by the Catholic Church.
Today, it’s a struggle to know what anybody’s definition of an artist is. Arts writer Daniel Grants says “It’s simpler to state what makes an artist a professional than what defines an artist.” I agree.
Huffington Post has a lengthy yarn to spin about the “Artist” as a universal statement of creativity or, as in the case of a culinary arts; someone who does something well. Socially, artists are often defined by the positive (freedom-loving, convention-defying) or negative (egotistical, bohemian) characteristics that other people attribute to them. More here.
One of my HERO artists has always been Paul Cezanne- born in 1839 in France. Like Michelangelo, Cezanne’s dad didn’t like the idea of an artist in the family. Happily for Cezanne, his dad’s banking career afforded him the chance to follow his passion no worries about putting food on the table.
Speaking for myself, artists are communicators. Regardless of medium or style, an artist strives to communicate in life. Each person’s vision is unique. Education plays a part. It takes skill to communicate well. I like to add in the element of beauty mainly because I’m motivated by beautiful things-like…a flower in natural sunlight. Life is too short not to enjoy beauty.
Crosby, Still Nash and sometimes Young, were tremendous communicators, together. I was struck by their energy and enthusiasm working the stage. It takes special talent to harmonize well.
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young- Helplessly Hoping, an old favorite.
If you’re a fan, you might enjoy this documentary about their life together.
I’m cray about Palma pillow this time of year when everything is coming up green. Are you?