While I was in Milan Italy not too long ago, I had the opportunity to observe Leonardo Da Vinci’s “The Last Supper”.
The painting was kept behind many air tight doors and only few people were allowed in the museum to see the masterpiece at any given time. In fact, you had to make a reservation months in advance to see it. I am not sure how we were able to get in that day, but in any sense I felt extremely grateful for the unique and unusual opportunity.
We passed through several very heavy doors that opened automatically and shut so tight you could hear the air being compressed and pushed away.
I felt as if I was passing through time and each door that opened and closed was a time machine taking me back to a place where there was war and inquisition. A time where superstitions led to murder and individuality or uniqueness brought torture and ridicule.
However, Leonardo’s individuality and unique thoughts were relished, and great artists like him were kept safe merely for their ability to portray beauty and bring light and joy to an otherwise dark and dreary time period. I looked into the faces of his subjects that day and felt him looking back at me through each set of eyes captured in his own unique light.
Something inside of me changed. Despite the ridicule and potential torture or even death he faced back then, Leonardo found sanctuary through his creativity, his inventions, his life.
Really what do I have to face putting my art out there? Maybe ridicule from someone who is jealous or over critical? Maybe from someone who thinks they know what art is or has studied what art “should” be? Everyone.... and I will repeat myself EVERYONE is an artist! We wake up and we begin creating life, our life as we perceive it. Our life as we fill our days with actions and reactions. Our life as we manifest each thought, each emotion. My art is just that MINE. I create my art to inspire myself and if my art inspires others along the way then that is just a bonus.
That day I saw my own art locked behind air tight doors, big airtight walls that I built up over the years to protect it from opinion, judgment and ridicule.
I can’t even fathom what Leonardo Da Vinci would have accomplished or created had he lived now.
NOW!!! A time where we have creative freedom, religious freedom, the freedom to think and inspire and be an individual with our own voice, without death or torture looking over our shoulder. NOW, where we can create whatever we choose and if we can withstand the judgements and ridicule from others, we will move beyond their reflection of their own air tight doors and giant walls. We begin to reflect that creative light, the light I saw looking out at me from the masterpiece I was observing, the light of the creative genius, Leonardo Da Vinci.