That picture is my favorite painting from my favorite artist. The painting is called "Friendly Walks." The artist is Aldo Luongo.
When I started this blog a few months back I knew I would be putting poetry up here, but I wouldn't have guessed I be posting any visual arts. Well, that all changed today when my buddy Jon Hall decided to start a conversation off one of my posts. I thought my post was about the long, almost lost, art of poetry, but Jon expanded the discussion into visual arts. If you're interested, check out his post Medium of the Poets. In it he points out that visual art (i.e. paintings) have become, at worst, "irrelevant to our culture" and, at best, inaccessible. I think he has a point and that bums me out a bit. There's something magical and peacemaking about going to a gallery and staring into a painting until you get lost.
So, in an homage to Jon's tallent as an artist, I thought I'd pay my respects to his medium of choice. I got to thinking about my gallery experiences and I wanted to share my favorite artist, Aldo Luongo. Granted, on-line browsing cannot do justice to looking at a full-sized and textured work of art, nor can even the best of monitors capture what Luongo's color choices do to my soul. Nevertheless, I adore his work and hope that you will visit his website: aldo-luongo.com
I love all of Luongo's work. Yet, it is "Friendly Walks" that really captivates me in person. I think it's because I've always looked forward to old age. Additionally, the idea of longevity in any area whether work, living space, marriage, church, or whatever, has always appealed to me. At the top of longevity desires would be the desire to have a life-long friend. This painting captures that joy. The man on the right is Luongo's "Hawk" which is his depiction of his idea of his future self in combination with the memory of his father (I love this concept). When I look at this painting, I think that I want to live my life in such a manner that I can be proud of the choices I made. I like to imagine the guy on the left saying, "Remember when we took THAT leap of faith way back when?" or "Remember how God came through for us back in that moment 25 years ago?"
That's the great thing about visual art, it's not "spoon fed" like so many films are. Rather, we get to fill in our own blanks, take our baggage and apply it to what's on the canvas and walk away with our own interpretation. I too hope for a renaissance in terms of the mediums through which visual art and poetry are expressed. I'd also like to see more of it in churches, but that's a whole other conversation.