The highlight of Day 22 of the Nowhere To Be Project was the art of Edgar Degas. I visited the Denver Art Museum especially to view this new temporary exhibit. I have always been drawn to his work, those of the ballerinas in particular. Midway through the exhibit I was stopped in my tracks by two words used to describe Degas’ work: Obsession & Openness.
On the face of it, a rigid dichotomy exists between obsession and openness. How could these things be appropriate in the description of the work of a master? With further contemplation, I determined that the ability to convey these two extremes through the work is the precise reason for Degas’ mastery. To be so obsessed with his art, the subjects and the expression, yet open in his depiction, interpretation and presentation. I might describe it as a delicate balance of command and sensitivity. If only we could all find this balance in life, work and relationships. Sadly, too much of one or not enough of the other reigns supreme for most.
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