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Guayasamin



We are a species of beautiful dreams and terrible nightmares. How they coexist is beyond my understanding. My understanding was challenged even deeper when I had the opportunity to visit the Guayasamin Museum in Quito Ecuador. It is a magnificent building dedicated solely to his works. And his art is brilliant. He is somehow able to make paintings of human suffering beautiful. This is what he says:


“All my art goes around the tragedy of man.”

“My painting is trying to reflect the reality of our times, which I consider the most monstrous reality that ever has happened in the history of mankind.”

“To paint is to pray. To paint is to scream.”

This is my reaction: It is good and noble to use art to change the world for the better by reminding us who we are when we are at our worst. I can't. It isn't within me. I haven't experienced that kind of suffering. I also think it is good and noble to remind us of the best of who we are. Yes, there is ugliness in the world, but, we also need to be reminded of the beauty in the world. Art seems better suited to that role. My art is better suited to that role. James Gabbert June 2011

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