A little come back to one of my previous blogs. I got my hands again on a print of one of the most famous paintings by one of my favourite artists,"La Mariée" by Monsieur Marc Chagall. Most of you will most certainly remember it from the movie Notting Hill (1999) where Julia Roberts, referring to Chagall's painting, states "Yes - Happiness isn't happiness without a violin-playing goat." I love the painting and,man,I love this quote! In the surreal senselessness of this statement, there is the power not only of an evocative picture, but a phenomenal representation of life itself. "La Mariée", litteraly "the bride, the wife"depicts a man and a woman on their wedding day, a violin-playing goat, a dancing fish, a fiddler player and a number of guests on a deep blue background of little houses and open sky...what I see in it is love and life and happiness beyond conformation, canons and limitations. It is not marriage that is making this couple soar, but it is mutual love, imagination and the ability to dream beyond society constraints. I may be completely wrong in my critic and quite likely the artist never meant any of the above mentioned, but I am inclined to think that this may be possible. Marc Chagall was an outstanding artist whose talent has never been disputed. Nonetheless as a Russian-Jew in antisemitic second World War Paris, he was endangered and was forced to flee to the US. However, it is said that he would always find refuge in his art filled with vibrant colours and fantastical imagery - the hiding place of imagination. Even when the world around him was disastrously unfair and cruel, his art enabled him to find refuge in a world of beauty and sublime sentiments. By stating this, I am not advocating for escapism. I am a firm believer in the fact that one must face life whatever it may come on their path, without hiding,escaping,pretending.
There is a book in the Bible called Ecclesiastes. It is a collection of wisdom and thoughts by king Salomon. At times depressing, at times totally random - it depicts a fair picture, in my opinion, of humanity. What Salomon says is that bad things in as much as positive stuff happen to evil people and pius folks alike. The consolation and true revolution comes from the strenghtening and hope that is provided to those who believe in order to face afflicition and hardship.
Similarly, art, love, beauty can be a real solace for an aching soul. All this is part of what makes me feel so deeply for respectively my Faith and art.
So what happens when an expression of God-like traits in humankind beautifies the perfect consolation and meaningfulness of divine Hope? -A goat plays a violin on your wedding day!