Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Impassioned Eye

Sometimes, when my life isn't what I imagine it should be I forget how important it is to be happy. Sure, you'll argue with me and say being happy isn't enough but for me, it's all I really need. Losing sight of what makes us happy isn't the problem, actually allowing ourselves to be happy is. Repeatedly I remind myself to surround myself with individuals who inspire me. Unfortunately, not very many people I know do.  And I know that must sound harsh but I've maintained a fairly high threshold for creativity and individuality.  So when I come across someone or something that provokes a stirring deep within me I'm forever moved.  

If you asked me to tell you about my brother, I wouldn't know where to begin. He's a thinker, a wanderer, a man without an agenda. He's an artist, a photographer, someone who can make something out of nothing.  I'm constantly amazed at his way of life, or more so his own personal ethic for living. Basically he's taught me that everyday is another chance to start over, to start new. He's helped me to realize that my life isn't set to any one course or path.  Last week he booked a flight to NYC simply because he wanted to see the Francis Bacon exhibit at the Met. When he makes a decision there's no agonizing over plans or consequences, he just decides. As a matter of fact, if you ask me now to tell you about my brother, I'll tell you this, my brother is a doer.

I do see a lot of myself in him, qualities in our ways of living intersect. We're both creatively expressive with different mediums, we're both impulsive and go wherever the proverbial wind may blow us.  I actually see a lot of my grandpa in him, a simple man who knew the key to living well. For my brother, I believe living well revolves around the simple idea to just live. Through his paintings and pictures I feel that he captures moments in life that he knows will never come back again. And I feel that it's an admirable attempt that we all strive for because too soon now turns to then and we just want so badly to hold on. 

Getting to my point seeing as how I've yet again digressed from what I wanted to share with you, my brother's eye for capturing moments and memories is truly a gift. I couldn't fake a well composed picture, trust me, I've tried.  In an interview with Charlie Rose, famed photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson said that (and I paraphrase because I just watched it and found myself overwhelmed with inspiration) "the subject takes you." And here we are, waiting for that perfect moment when we should just allow it to happen and take us. In any case, I believe that my brother has a likeness for this outlook in taking a photo. Yesterday, the Modern Wing at the Art Institute was unveiled and world renowned architect, Renzo Piano was at the ceremony. 

This of course meant nothing to me, I had no idea who he was or even that a whole new wing was being added. (I learn a lot about art from my brother and in turn I teach him my favorite things about literature, it's a wonderful balance.) Anyhow, after the ceremony as the crowd rushed into the new wing, my brother stayed back and to his amazement captured this.
Renzo Piano walked right past him. And that's great and all, I'm happy for him but aside from that I love this picture. When I look at it, I see an honest moment in a man's life, and he's not proud or boastful, instead he's contemplative and reserved. Then again, that's just my observation from his expression. I just love this picture. 

Another picture that I love is one that my brother took back in August. It was actually featured in the Chicago Reader this past fall and well, speaks for itself.
You can see more of his pictures here.  Also, I'm planning on visiting the Art Institute sometime this week to see the new wing, my brother highly recommends it. I was looking forward to going by myself because there are things I love to do alone, but would definitely love company if anyone wants to join. It's free admission until the 22nd I believe and I'm always in the mood to be inspired.

"Maps are for people who want to know where they're going."
-Robert Andre Gregorio

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