I am not sure if I have learned this from my husband or because of him, but I have learned this: Art transcends medium.
I’ve always thought that books and music were the mediums whose appreciation comes most naturally to me. That I will always be more moved by great literature or great music, than anything great that other mediums have to offer. I have realized that I am wrong. Art moves through many mediums and I now realize that I can find something great that moves me, in any medium, be it music, film or even marble and stone.
Each artist has a personal truth that he/she tries to freeze or express through a chosen medium. While Michelangelo seems to capture and bring forth that indefineable goodness and strength in man (like he does in both his Pietas), Donatello laughs and catches all of man’s imperfections. While Michelangelo’s sculptures inspire awe and even love (a lot like a Robert Bresson film), Donatello’s sculptures are impossibly interesting and entertaining. Both however, offer insight into human existence, an insight implicit in the curves and lines of the structures they create, a signature of great art.
Which brings me to two of my favorite artists, who are separated by time and their medium, yet whose works seem similar in essence : Donatello and Luis Bunuel. To me, the similarity seems to stem from their abilities to effortlessly capture that intangible human quirkiness. Their works might seem light and cheeky and sometimes even taunting, yet hold a secret waiting to be told.
Donatello’s Habacuc (at the Duomo Museum in Florence) is my favorite example . There is something about the sculpture isn’t there?
Bunuel’s ‘The discreet charm of the bourgeoisie’ and ‘The obscure object of desire’ are spiritual equivalents of Donatello’s Habacuc. There is something almost wickedly magical about them. Yet, after you watch them, you know something that you didn’t before.