The size of it

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Anselm Kiefer turned 70 this past Sunday.

When I was 20, I lived in a flat in Richmond, Virginia, with no air conditioning.

I have to admit this greatly contributed to the number of hours I logged at the free (and very air-conditioned) Virginia Museum. My favorite spot was in front of their Anselm Kiefer piece, Landscape with Wing.

Kiefer Landscape with Wing

It is a giant piece, as so much of his work is, and sometimes size can be an easy road to impact. But in my opinion this one transcends that simple (and endlessly abused) art gimmick of gigantic proportions, and its power comes from more than its scale.

I remember being so moved by this piece, it often felt like I was going to tip over. So I guess I mean moved in a literal sense.

This was one of a number of pieces of art that over the years taught me the difference between what makes you feel and what just looks nice. Or pretty. Or clever.

It’s actually not that different from people.

This week I spent most of my time working on the opposite end of the spectrum, size-wise. But still trying to find the road to visually tuning it all in, so it has that impact.

IMG_1343 IMG_1336 IMG_1338 IMG_1341So happy birthday to Anselm Kiefer, and here’s to all the people who keep us tuned to what has meaning and what has truth, both on a big scale and, just as importantly, on a small scale.

Have a wonderful and meaning-full weekend, everyone!

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