August 04, 2005

How Much Is That Marilyn in the Window?


The new Marilyn in the window is here! An ode to swimming pool weather, a still from Marilyn's last (uncompleted) film which also serves as commentary to the St. Louis heat wave: Something's Gotta Give.
The backstory is here.
The Marilyn previous to the above is here.

An extraordinarily gifted photographer friend of mine has been enthusiastically following the Marilyn Shrine since being introduced to it. Upon seeing this latest exhibit, she wondered how the artist could stand to work in such anonymity and solitude, for artists thrive on the experience of others viewing their work, commenting on it, and (hopefully) buying some of it.

While I do wish Kabbaz would come forward and answer a dozen questions, I'm in awe of the seeming integrity of his mystery. His love for Marilyn is shared in a consistent and heart-felt way, and because of the very public nature of his solitary art gallery, he has a potentially bigger audience than most any fine artist. His work is in a high traffic area, but it sits back quietly, waiting for the true believers to find it, ponder it, keep an eye out. All of this goes on without the artist ever knowing or caring. It's merely his expression of adoration, unsullied by any modern standards of artistic commerce and publicity. While alive, Marilyn let herself be bought and sold, but these paintings of her are not for sale because love is priceless.

1 comment:

Danielle said...

I have read your previous posts on the subject of Kabbaz and Marilyn and find your thoughts and reflections very interesting; in no small part because I too, am a painter (and a woman rapidly approaching 40). As an artist I have been criticized for not making my art 'personal enough' and I tend to get impatient when people bombard me with personal questions in the hopes of better understanding my work. While I don't think there is a remedy for this - it is human nature - I have found personal insight and supporting arguments in the writings of C.G. Jung.......

"The essence of a work of art is not to be found in the personal idiosyncrasies that creep into it - indeed, the more there are of them, the less it is a work of art - but in it's rising above the personal and speaking from the mind and the heart of the artist to the mind and heart of mankind. The personal aspect of art is a limitation and even a vice. Art that is only personal, or predominantly so, truly deserves to be treated as a neurosis."

And regarding Archetypes in art (such as Marilyn)....

"There are many such archetypal images, but they do not appear in the dreams of individuals or in works of art unless they are activated by a deviation from the middle way. Whenever conscious life becomes one-sided or adopts a false attitude, these images instinctively rise to the surface in dreams and in the visions of artists and seers to restore the psychic balance, whether of the individual or the epoch."

"This re-immersion in the state of participation mystique is the secret of artistic creation and of the effect which great art has upon us, for at that level of experience it is no longer the weal or woe of the individual that counts, but the life of the collective. That is why every great work of art is objective and impersonal, and yet profoundly moving. And that is also why the personal life of the artist is at most a help or a hindrance, but is never essential to his creative task....His personal career may be interesting and inevitable, but it does not explain his art."

Perhaps you are drawn to the artist's work not only because of it's mystery and integrity, but because of your own personal views on beauty, ageing (posts Heroic Diane Lane and Celebrity Plastic Surgery) and the feminine ideal. It's my opinion that Kabbaz has been overwhelmingly successful in using art to invoke an archetype and thereby helping you reestablish or at least reinforce your psychic connection to the Eternal Feminine.