University of Southern California
For the Love of Art
Describe something outside of your intended academic focus about which you are interested in learning.
“The 1880s are when art gets interesting,” the boy in the airport agrees with me. He had just sheepishly told me he sometimes goes on and on about art to his girlfriend on FaceTime, which was probably a subtle clue for me, but I was nonplussed and more interested in the conversation.“Oh, the abstract expressionists are my favorite!” I swoon at the history, not him.
The way I see it, the timeline of rapture begins with the way Cezanne’s brushstrokes left space for tears to be shed, goes through Toulouse-Lautrec’s challenges to perspective, startles with Picasso’s audacious Demoiselles, abstracts with the rise of Der Blaue Reiter and the Dadaists, and continues with the Surrealists and the social activists until art took on a much bigger role than mere mantlepiece.Waiting for our flights, the boy next to me starts to see my excitement is genuine. We talk about how we love when art started finding its own mind. Cocteau called it “charming absurdity,” Dadaists repelled from cliches and abandoned moral systems for faith in creative self. Kandinsky had extensively synesthetic motives behind every movement of color, sculpting a pyramid between the variations of the arts, calling it ALL an “expression of the artist’s soul.”
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