Thursday, July 31, 2008

Thank You Marlene Dumas

A few weeks ago at the MOCA downtown, I saw the Marlene Dumas exhibit, ‘Measuring Your Own Grave.’ I had not heard of her prior to seeing the show. I happened to see an image on the front page of the calendar section of the Los Angeles Times; the image was of her painting called “The Kiss.” Immediately I was drawn to the image and her use of color. Two days later and after much ‘googling’, I was heading downtown.

Immediately upon entering the exhibit and seeing the first few images up on the walls, I was taken aback. For a moment, I stood still before taking a first step, as if preparing myself for what was to come. I felt like I was seeing a ‘real’ exhibit for the first time; I was hooked. I felt drawn to everything. I felt connected in a way that I had not imagined.

As I stood in front of “The Teacher,” I felt a deep sense of gratitude for her and her work and for having brought these images to life. I felt moved and greatly inspired. Quietly, under my breath, I said, “Thank You.” Even as I write now, I feel a lack of words that express the emotions I felt wandering through the place.

Later that day and rambling with inspiration, I worked on my own pieces, I read and flipped through her book, I sat and thought about my own work and came to realize, for the first time in my life, that every Little Girl was a very real reflection of me, my thoughts, how I live, and see our world. Even though I have always felt a great connection to my Little Girls, I had not seen them as a real reflection of me. After 10 years of painting them, I was surprised to suddenly be feeling all of this. I felt inspired to take them to a greater level of reflection. I felt inspired to dig deeper within myself, to pull out everything from inside me and to bring it all to life.

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