As much as it hurts a little heartbreak can go a long way for artists. Look at the music of people like Trent Reznor or Ben Folds. How about the art of Francis Bacon? There’s a guy with emotional issues for ya. How about Clive Barker’s painting and writi… ok, he’s just a (brilliant) nutjob. Pain is that by which we define ourselves and can be the wellspring of creativity if utilized correctly.

Oddly enough I’m writing this at a time when I’m actually feeling pretty good about things. The subject came up recently via one of those Facebook time-waster quizzes. Apparently I was Pablo Picasso in my former life (like thousands of others, i’m sure) and one of the traits we had listed in common was “does not deal well with heartbreak”. The comment then came down that, of course, nobody does. True enough. The difference I see is that as artists we take that angst, pain, frustration, whatever, and turn it into something else… If we so choose. There’s the key word, “Choose”. That’s one of the things that sets us apart. We wear our hearts out on our sleeves or, more to the point, we splatter them all over our work.

If you’re reading this I’d love to have you comment and give some examples of great art you’ve seen that stems from pain and what it meant to you if anything. I’ve got my favs and I’ll post them after I hear from You. This is your chance to join the conversation (and thereby validate all of this blogging I do).

I’ll leave you with a piece that looks like it could’ve been spawned from a horrendous breakup or the death of a favorite goldfish, but in truth pain was the furthest thing from my mind. I was having a blast.



6 responses to “HeartBreaker”

  1. Jeffz Avatar

    While I do not know many that have a personal pain. Pain of a generation or community affects me greatly. One of my favorite artists is Virginia Gardner. She did a stunning mosaic of commentary about the Second Iraq War. It pulled and brought home to me again what this war’s real costs are. The title is “All I see is Red” and can be seen at http://www.flickr.com/photos/virginiamosaics/2221284041/sizes/o/in/photostream/. I could go on for a good length of time what this piece evokes in me but the overall feeling is one of empathy and compassion to the innocents of war – those children and wives who just want to live day to day. it confirmed in me a piece i had forgotten growing up in my 30s and the aftershock of 9/11 – there is never a good reason to go to war. And that is powerful stuff, that is what art should be in my opinion – a window into your soul that connects you to something , whether that be a place , idea, concept, something the artist can draw out of you.Ok, enough rambling. PS – Love your blog Rob!

  2. Candace Trew Camling Avatar

    oh good! glad to see the picture up! I was disappointed earlier when I came over to look at it! It looks lovely! Really great shapes and textures… and of course, I love the lights.

  3. Rob Reeves Avatar

    Thanks, Guys! Jeffz, thanks for including a piece. I’m glad to see that this blurb is generating some responses. The artwork is somber and beautiful.

  4. Jeffz Avatar

    I should have linked to the page too, she has a little ‘poem’ that goes with it:http://www.flickr.com/photos/virginiamosaics/2221284041/in/photostreamAll I see is red.All I smell is fear.All I hear is pain.All I see is red.

  5. Jayme Avatar

    I’d go with Picasso’s ‘Guernica.’ The way he portrays the ugliness of war and the anguish and confusion that comes from it is amazing. It really hits you hard. One of my faves.

  6. Rob Reeves Avatar

    Ya know, Jayme, I almost posted a pic of ‘Guernica”. Great minds and all that… Thanks for chiming in!

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