Saturday, August 25, 2007
A little over two years ago, Irene Winter, Professor of Fine Arts at Harvard University, gave a talk on the ancient Assyrian site Nimrud and the Queen's ornate crown at the National Gallery. Winter spoke in exacting detail about the aesthetics of radiance, Summarian burial practices, the politics of acquisition, and practices stemming out of antiquities legislation all in connection with her life's work in art and archaeology.
I am not certain why, but what stuck with me was the gold and its immutable nature. I remember viewing slides of gold used over ivory, gold clustered stars, gold appearing as textiles, gold earrings and armlets worn by men, gold bracelets inlaid with turquoise and lapis, gold rosettes, Christian ornamentation and halos, and yes - gold Buddahs.
When you think about it, gold has a certain aura, a living vitality, a shimmering light. It's power, heat, shine, and luster. It's the golden calf, the representation of the sun, the great dome in Jerusalem. Gold is radiance, luminosity, emanating, strong, and durable. It's a strong cultural response. It's a visual andneurobiological reaction that grabs the eye and stimulates pleasure. Gold manifests outwardly, reflecting inner nature.
A high-end experience, gold is - and that's why I love it. It's vitality, auspiciousness, allure, and beauty. It's seductive, compelling, lovely, splendorous, and glorious. This malleable mineral, while today being expensive, also denoted money and wealth in its own accord all those years ago. It can be considered somewhat controversial. A thinking man has to ask what's the morality of luxurious acquisition and excess in a world of demise and suffering?
But to the artist, gold is greed and need. Who among us is satiated with only one hit of Klimt's gold foil, leaf, and paint? No. No. No. We need gold's lift again and again. Give us hearts of gold. Let us hold ourselves to the gold standard. Award us all the gold medal for courage in creating. Let us all live on the gold coast or by the golden rule (if we so choose). Please protect us all from the nasty gold diggers and let every art lover come across their very own golden opportunity. The luxury of a luminous lift.
Posted by shauna lee lange at Saturday, August 25, 2007