The power to soothe, to inspire, to inform, at times to shock — each a potential characteristic of visual art, perhaps never more so than during times of international crisis on a number of levels. From the clarion call of graffiti-covered memorials by protestors around the globe to images of heroic individuals painted by appreciative COVID survivors, today’s artistic expressions reflect the depth of human struggles that words often fail to do. This month at Folie à Trois, we turn our collective attention to paintings, drawings, sculpture, and even architecture, as we acknowledge the overarching power that art possesses to heal the human spirit.
For the past two and a half years, it’s been our distinct pleasure to meet artists from the United States and Europe in our travels for Folie, and for the past six months through our internet connections with painters and creators across the globe. Kudos to each of you for sharing your particular visions of the world with others!
While the treasures produced by creative individuals delight us in their variety and scope, we have discovered some common threads among people with differing styles and approaches to their art. Probably the chief distinction between the artist and the rest of the world is a sense of separateness, of living much of life “apart” from what and whom one is observing. The late Dutch American writer Henrik Willem Van Loon asserted in his treatise, “The Arts”, “The true artist is almost invariably a very lonely fellow and, like all lonely people…he will insist upon maintaining his own integrity as his most valued possession. He may drink with the crowd and swap jokes with his neighbors…Like poor Vincent van Gogh, he may love the masses when he is off duty, or like Ludwig van Beethoven, he may refuse to lift his hat to a mere king, but the moment he smears his paints on his canvases or fishes his little notes out of his ten-cent bottle of ink, he stands apart and recognizes no law but the law that binds him to be himself.”
With this installment of Le Journal and our Galerie of photos, the Folie team seeks to honor the courage and dedication of artists who dare to reveal themselves through their life’s work. For if you look closely enough, there’s magic to be found in all art forms. It’s that intangible quality that transcends the elements of line, shape, color, and form, perhaps best described as the moment when the image takes on a life of its own. Something true has been captured that needs no words of explanation. As Agatha Christie’s fictional character Inspector Hercule Poirot once said, “One must seek the truth within — not without.” Here’s to the painters, sculptors, designers, and dreamers who commit their passion to canvas, paper, and stone in the name of truth.