April 10, 2013

Never stop making

Photograph by mstephens7 at Flickr under a Creative Commons license

Pablo Picasso, 25.10.1881–8.4.1973

For the second time, I saw “Picasso and Chicago” at The Art Institute of Chicago(1). I returned to take in the second half of the exhibition. More than 250 objects—drawings, paintings, prints, sculpture—were displayed. This is but a portion of Picasso’s immense portfolio of artistic works. The show was organized in historical phases: Picasso’s Blue Period, Red Period, War (Spanish Civil War, World War I, World War II), through to his latter years. In each phase, including the spaces in between, Picasso kept exploring his creativity, regardless which context was placed upon him.

The insistence to keep making is absolutely necessary. Because there’s movement in making. It offers comfort and represents empowerment. Restlessness is a rash.

I sense that Picasso found refuge in the movements of painting, sculpture, printmaking and ceramics, even drawing with light.

Roger Ebert, 6/18/1942–4/4/2013

Photograph by Chicago Man at Flickr under a Creative Commons license

The day before I returned to the “Picasso and Chicago” exhibit, film critic Roger Ebert passed away. At a high level, his own personal phases were Newspaper, TV, Internet, Cancer. His official website, which was redesigned, features:
  • 5,500+ movie reviews
  • 700+ essays, interviews, and film festival articles
  • 2,300+ Answer Man questions and answers
  • 600+ Ebert’s Little Movie Glossary entries
  • 400+ Critical Debates
These impressive stats are only through 2004(2). Until the end of his enduring fight with cancer, Ebert kept publishing film reviews, his last one done for “To the Wonder”, in addition to essays, collections, interviews, profiles, and more. In the introduction to a commemorative article called “Roger Ebert: More Than A Thumbs-Up, Thumbs-Down Guy” by Kenneth Turan, one fact stood out the most: “he never stopped writing.” In each phase, he kept making, no matter what context was set upon him.

With Ebert, I feel that he found refuge in the movements of cinema, journalism, blogging and tweeting.

More than their respective disciplines, Ebert and Picasso strived to pursue their art. Times changed. Though they moved from place to place, from situation to situation, they remained stubbornly dedicated to their art. Self-fulfillment demands practice. They persisted to serve themselves as a basis to keep drawing, to keep painting, to keep writing—to never stop making.

(1) February 20, 2013–Sunday, May 12, 2013
(2) Stats from former version of RogerEbert.com

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Typeface of quote is Akzidenz Grotesk, originally released by the Berthold Type Foundry in 1896.

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