Tonight, I was reacquainted with my first love. It wasn’t until I was intimately close with the stretched canvas covered in variegated oils that I was transported back into the world of creativity. But this time, it was more than that. After listening to the curators speak lovingly of Per Kirkeby (of whom I’d never heard), I felt closer to him. They said he was a geologist, an architect, a poet. A painter’s painter, a poet’s painter. Instantly, I was intrigued.
The expressive introduction opened the door before me, which promoted greater intimacy with his canvases. After a few moments, I realized the ease with which this happened. These were friends of friends, friends of lovers. They revealed the solidarity of Cezanne, the simultaneous struggle and reconciliation of structured abstraction. They flared with the vibrant palette of Delacroix. They were familiar and I felt at home.
I stood captivated in front of a select few. They pulled me into their worlds and I saw the many sedimentary layers the artist had lain before my eyes. The experience was both dynamic and mesmerizing, exciting and soothing. I approached slowly, showing respect and fascination. We stood silently as my eyes caressed its surface. And in the next instant of flirtation, I felt flushed, overwhelmed with passion. I felt the desire to be close, close to art, close to the artist, the poet. For I could sense the poetry of the canvas. The sensual juxtaposition of structure and freedom. A positioning not at odds but in symbiosis.
I felt the push and pull of the world within these canvases. I allowed them to manipulate me. And I almost could not restrain from reaching out to run my fingertips down the rough geography of the canvas, to be closer, to feel the traces of passion left behind within its brushstrokes. Instead, I made my eyes drink in everything before me. They drown in the intimacy of each artistic fingerprint, each frenetic mark, reveling in the electricity of the near touch.
And as I tore myself away, I woke up refreshed, revitalized. I could feel the passion and desire for creative expression surge through my blood. Inside, I was dancing with delight. My first love had taken me back with open arms.