Have you ever had that feeling of... it's like falling in love, instantaneously with something beautiful. Or, it's like being in the presence of some tremendous beauty that you feel throughout your whole body but that your mind is so engaged in that you don't really notice that your body is reacting so strongly. It's like your body is separate from you, neurons firing all over the place, hormones and chemicals washing through, and you know its happening but your consciousness is locked onto perceiving the thing that started it all.
It's all too much. It's beauty that takes over. It's possession. It's like a first kiss. There's passion and that emotional high, but also maybe a little overwhelming and it makes you feel shy or makes you shy away a little bit. It's like kissing that person you've loved from afar, who you thought was beyond you, out of your league. You're in that moment, in that presence, experiencing that everything but you are out of it too; above it. It's your soul lifted, and your body anchored to the earth. It's connection and awareness, but also mystery and ethereal wonder.
The first time I saw a Monet painting in a museum, it was like that. The painting was one of his Wheatstacks in winter. And, it glowed. GLOWED. I mean that almost literally. I remember thinking, for just a moment, that it must have some kind of special light on it, or behind it, or in it. That was of course. Not in the way I'd been thinking. There was the light of Monet himself in it. And it's not something I had ever experienced before. I'd seen many photos of Monet's work, probably including this one. But in person... it was the difference between seeing a photograph of a person and meeting them in the flesh. That painting was alive.
It was something like that also yesterday, when I came across the work of Stéphanie Devaux. I say it was "something like that" because I don't mean to compare her work to that of Monet. I don't have the right really. I don't know enough about art to make comparisons. And really, it's comparing apples with oranges. They both make magic with art, but very different kinds of magic. What I do know is how her work made me feel.
Stéphanie's work hit a nerve in me. It resonated deeply within. The delicacy of her pen work. The calligraphy. The assemblage bent of her pieces. Her restraint. The comfortable ease that flows through the gestural elements. The kinesthetic energy. The minimalist, open ended, feel of a work in progress, unheeding of a need for absolute completeness or definition.
I'm going to stop talking now. Some wise soul once said, "Writing about music is like dancing about architecture." I think the same holds true to talking about art, to some degree. There are a few feeble words to hint at what it makes us feel, but at the end of the day, it's best just to look at the stuff.
Stéphanie Devaux's blog : Textus (in French)
Some of my favorites by Stéphanie appear in my Pinterest board called, "You when I grow up - Hero Whorship"