ARTisSpectrum Vol.30, November 2013 - page 118-119

ARTisSpectrum | Volume 30 |
ARTisSpectrum | Volume 30 |
The Muse: She was once the female platonic ideal, a deity, a sage, a goddess, and for hundreds of years the blessing
of a Muse was essential for the creation of art. For many artists, the Muse is alive and well, infusing the psyche with a
gust of the divine, to inspire not imitation but new insights. For many years Agora Gallery’s Director Angela di Bello
has privately addressed the issue of new art forms with artists from every corner of the world. This dialogue has
culminated in her theory that today’s muse is often either a physical place or a place in the heart. Over the past ten
years artists have discussed with her the inspiration that becomes manifest when they are exposed to the spirit and
energy of New York City. In ‘Evoking the Muse’ artists share their experiences of the city. Angela would like to thank
Doug, Biddy, Sylvia, Violette and Tricia for their evocative and powerful contributions, and encourage others to share
their experiences with us for the May 2014 issue of ARTisSpectrum.
New York City:
Evoking the Muse
Louis Kahn said “Even a brick wants to be something.” What a wonderful state of mind, to see matter that way - imagining that a brick
wants to be something, to say something, to stand for some kind of meaning.
New York is a city where new and old co-exist side by side. What evokes the Muse for me are the city’s industrial structures which connect
us to an age gone by: old ferry terminals, rusting barges, abandoned factories and warehouses, obsolete train trestles, longstanding
smoke stacks, rail yards, timeworn train cars, etc. It is as though they are telling stories of power, perseverance, absence, change,
ambiguity and history, all qualities that I feel are the force of the form. When I am in the presence of these structures it is as though they
are saying, “I must exist as color and line, I must be seen, and I must be in many souls at the same time. Capture me; I have something to
say. It is a story for everyone. I am the mystery that must be perceived and not understood, like Van Gogh’s ‘Sunflowers,’ or Leonardo’s
‘The Last Supper.’ Some mysteries remain private, inside, unexpressed. I am a public mystery, a social, extroverted mystery. Like ‘The
Rime of the Ancient Mariner,’ I have a story to tell.”
These industrial icons were once functional, but now, abandoned and obsolete, they have become free. Like the rocks at Stonehenge
they have a presence that speaks. I feel their place in our landscape has the same kind of powerful presence as Stonehenge, the Sphinx,
or the heads at Easter Island. They express beauty in the midst of ruin. I see them as icons of our age, and they evoke my Muse.
“New York is a city where new and old co-exist side by side.”
Doug DePice
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