Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Imagine with me

Suppose you LOVED good food and you had just stumbled into a small ristorante and experienced the absolutely finest meal you had ever eaten: the food, the presentation, the ambiance, the company were all exemplary and thus combined for a truly unique experience. Or whatever your passion in art.... just imagine the 4 dimensions of that moment and how life changing for you such an experience could be.  Now imagine how to convey that in a photo.

Impossible.  Right?

So, too, photos of David.

As one looks at THE sculpture by THE master, it is not hard to imagine David alive: it is hard to imagine him not breathing hard from running up the hill toward Goliath. There is a slight glisten on his chest. The veins in his hands, arms, and neck hint at mild exertion.  He is turned with his side toward Goliath, not unlike a baseball pitcher seeing his target while ignoring all else around him.

I have now been here 3 times yet the shock at seeing living marble is even greater now than before. The next emotion is joy. Joy at the confidence of a very young man (14?) who has been prepared by the Creator of the Universe for this one transcendent moment: the most famous battle in western culture. David has slain a grown bear and a grown lion to protect his sheep. Now he prepares to slay this giant with an almost casual air: he knows he was born for this. There is no fear.  He has run down one hill, across the valley and charged up the hill. Goliath has made a fatal mistake, stepping out alone to face David; for at 10' away, David knows he is no match for Goliath. But Goliath is, perhaps, 25 feet away. Perfect range for one highly skilled in use of the sling. David, 1st Kings 17 says, chose 5 stones. Imagine this confidence: Goliath has four brothers and one is for each of the 5 of them.  David is so confident, he is looking further ahead - to future battles not yet imagined. 

Perhaps Goliath knows the danger of a sling, so David has the sling hidden behind him - away from Goliath. In 5 seconds, Goliath will fall.

Michaelangelo was the greatest human sculptor of all time. He did not fail to understand that.  He worked with other great artists who did preliminary work. But not on David.  David was conceived, acquired, and carved solely by the hands of the exemplary one.  If he had never otherwise carved or painted, David - alone - would make him the greatest artist of all time.

How to capture that in a photo. It can't be done. 

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