I’ve always been a secret pragmatist when it comes to art. A pragmatist because deep down inside, if the piece of art isn’t shouting a pretty clear message I’m always a little skeptical. And secret, because no one wants to be that guy in the gallery walking around saying “Who bumped his elbow on this one?” So I’ve slowly paced my way through various museums and galleries (expert’s tip: the slower you walk the more profound you must be) and nodded my head thoughtfully when the curator waxes eloquent about how the angles and colors of the piece all speak to a deep social commentary and the obvious Nietzschean undertones, etcetera, etcetera. All the while thinking the same thought that every other Joe in the gallery is thinking (but hopefully has the wherewithal to not say out loud):
“That? I can do that.”
I think we may sometimes miss the whole point. Is it really about answers?
There is an art gallery on the southeastern bank of the Seine River in Paris, across from the Louvre. My friend Steve and his wife Miki, and a team of other artists, run it for the most part. It’s a place that is all about conversations. Conversations between up and coming artists, where ideas can be shared and passions can be fueled, where friends go to other friends’ shows, where the already established and lifelong connoisseurs and those who hope to one day be such are introduced, where the pieces of art themselves speak to each other in complimenting whispers, where people standing shoulder to shoulder are confronted with a beautiful something and left to talk about what it all means. Conversations about beauty and about truth and about the deeper things of life; conversations about fears and failures, and also successes and small victories; conversations about God and existence and the source of it all.
And Steve and Miki get to be the ones who host those conversations.
So maybe it isn’t about seeing angles and colors and understanding what they mean. Maybe it’s not so much about finding an answer as it is about beginning to ask a question. That’s the beauty of art I guess. It’s not always pragmatic, but it is the beginning of a conversation. And you will find that often what comes up is perhaps the deepest thoughts and most profound longings buried in your chest. That is what the Art Space is all about.
Below are a few pictures of the gallery. To read a more in depth account about the work of Steve and Miki and the ongoing conversation they’re fostering among artists in Paris, click here. And pray that this space would be one where truth and beauty are shown most clearly, and the love of those therein would point to Christ.
Read more about Steve and the artists he interacts with here