"Fantasy by definition is an escape, and it was a way for me to avoid difficult situations and emotions in my adolescence; however, I don’t think of reading as escapism. I think the activities of daily life are more commonly an escape from difficult or strong emotions. It’s in literature and art that one can usually come into more direct contact with those things. That’s why art is so fascinating. Even fantasy books, ironically."
Many artists enter the dream world, but few can so inhabit it as to give us not only its semblance but the meaning of the dream. Wiesenfeld’s genius lies both in the interiority of his figures and in the exteriority of his dreamscapes.
The artist exiled from his home created a theatre of characters in his imagined world, armed, beaten, and alienated, caught in conflict, ritual, love and rest; the afflicted and exhausted; these abandoned self portraits of a bloodied Nerdrum, cast as criminal, then as a weary man whose companions are outcasts, mutilated and war-torn, abandoned to the stern, severely beautiful landscape. We find the dead and the dying here, the victims of the aftermath, a record of the conflict between survivors and their struggle against despair.
"I remember once I was drawing a Halloween picture, and my art teacher came up to me and said, "The sky is not purple, and pumpkins do not fly through the air."
~Nicole Rubel, children's author/illustrator, Oregon, USA
"Many countries' prosperity is fictional and therefore fragile. So someone reasonably wonders if there is a room for art in this sad situation. I am going to answer that today, art's presence is more essential than ever; we need to be transferred to a world of ideas and values, and art is the vehicle.
"Ever since I was a little girl, I've had a love of birds and winged creatures. I collect nests, and birds always appear in my works. For me they originally were about the freedom I'd experienced when I spent three years traveling around the world, which inspired a hunger for travel. So I compromised and created birds with human faces talking to me."
To create in light and line, capture emotion as it whispers across a face, energy as it tightens then loosens a body… David Cooper received no formal training in this, but instead gained his technique and sensitive eye through the matter of clocking in hours with his camera. He shows his subjects, the dancers, his proofs, listens carefully to their feedback, and makes whatever adjustments are needed. It’s a simple give-and-take. Generous from both sides. One might even call it a dance.
I was in France at the time and I met a young guy in my French class. And he was an ex-child soldier. I saw him as always really sad. You didn't ever see a smile on his face. We'd go for coffee or a drink, and one day I just asked him, "Hey man, why don't you ever smile?" And he just explained to me that his childhood was stolen from him. I told him that if I was a writer I would write something, but I am a painter. So I painted his portrait.