I read an Atlantic article yesterday about COVID that was truly scary and quite frankly depressing about America’s response to COVID. You can’t escape it. These times are unprecedented. Everywhere you look, the news, your personal life, governor’s decrees, shelter-in-place, work-life, TV, it’s COVID. There’s a few markers in each person’s lives where the world is defined collectively by events. I think of 9-11, WWII, the Civil Rights movement, WWII, the bomb, the holocaust, where it feels like our world is consumed by reality. I suppose if you reach back in history you could toss in The Black Plague in there too. History repeats itself. For a moment a little escapism can’t hurt.
Marc Chagall has been one of my favorite artist for quite some time now. It was Monet in college, then Dali, then Chagall. Before that I saw this English painting at the Kimball Art Museum in Fort Worth that I was smitten with for some time, and still am.
Art, I think, provides an escape. A glance into another world when the world you are currently in appears and feels dark. Chagall had a tough life. Growing up Jewish in Russia, a village called Vitebsk in Belarus, it was half Jewish, a town of 66K people, Hasidic. That town didn’t survive World War II being burned and razed to the ground. Many of Chagall’s themes are from remembrances of that rural life, his family and the characters in the Village. What is hopeful to me is the colors he uses, the fantasy-realism he applies to reveal his memories, it’s content isn’t bound by gravity, floating and hopeful to me.
A view into Chagall’s mind not bound by reality, but also rooted in a perspective of reality, I’m always drawn in.
Don’t we owe ourselves a tiny does of escapism right about now. Something to feel good about. Hope in dark times? Hope.
Funk Soul Brothers & Sisters.