Sep 21, 2009

Ben Shahn

I fell in love with this painting at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City, last summer. It was hung above a staircase.

Because of its narrowness that completely matched its surroundings, it really struck me visually. I just loved the facial expressions of the three gentlemen. I don't know why but it just made me laugh!

Like the guy in the middle looks like he hasn't gone to the bathroom in three days! So, when I returned home to Seoul after a long family trip, I looked him up. And discovered that his name was Ben Shahn.

I was quite surprised that this painting was in response to a social issue at the time, and that Shahn was quite politically aware and active.

Personally, I do not care so much about the political message of the painting. At the time I fell in love with the visual and its witty vibe, all I cared was that this was a painting I'd love to hang in my future dream kitchen!

And here's another one by Shahn, that I discovered in a monthly Illustration magazine in Korea. The image speaks volumes to me. And on quite another level compared to the above image.

This one is a lot graver and more haunting, I'd say.
Anyhow, I think these works confirmed once again, the kinds of images I continually find myself choosing over other works.

So, I am just grateful that they will help me articulate my unborn visions, trapped in my mind some place.

And I pray to God that some day, I may be able to give birth to them, and give articulate forms and substances that they so deserve.

Over and out.

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