Day 98 in Beijing: River Walk, Part 3

I continued to ponder the idea of choice and circumstance as I wondered around the sculptures.

How does one decide to do art?

My mother, Judy Tuwalestiwa, is an artist.

And, I’m biased, but I’d say she is an amazing artist.

Her skill, work ethic, and depth of knowledge, always blows me away.  She works, on average 10 to 12 hours a day in her studio.  It is work.  Not play.

I always learn from her when we got to museums together because she has an understanding of why an artist, and it may be an artist with whose art she doesn’t particularly connect, was important or caused some change in the world by making their art.

I have very little knowledge of art history and so it allows me to see the world through her eyes while also learning and being able to change my perspective.

I remember going to the SFMOMA with my mom, about 7 years ago, and seeing the Phillip Guston: Contemporary Art from the Edward R. Broida Collection.  When I first saw it, I thought it was almost childlike in the “artistic sense.”  It is not like Picasso, Matisse or Manet in that the talent is automatically noticed.  At least not by me.

She explained to me why he was important, why so many of his characters were the hoods of the KKK and why they smoked their cigarettes and always wore big boots.

My mom mentioned in passing that Edward Broida had also bought a painting of her’s.  Maybe two.  I can’t remember.  She said that his uncle had made a lot of money and he had started an amazing collection of classical art.  As Edward Broida made his own money, he asked his uncle what he should do with it.  His uncle suggested he started his own collection, although he should start one by buying the type of art Edward loved.  Edward loved contemporary art and seemed to have a fantastic eye for it.  He started buying pieces that weren’t expensive, but he felt they were important pieces.  As he made more money, he

I have forgotten many of the reasons why but the memories still remain of my becoming more enlightened, knowledgeable and feeling as if I was finally on the “inside” of the artist’s mind and allowed to see his vision, hear his thoughts, and understand what he wanted me to know about his art.

This, to me, is what art is about.  It is about choice.  The choice to let others feel, see, and be a part of your world.  To amaze and open reality to others.   To let them touch your dreams in a way that most others are unable to make happen.

To create life out of lifelessness.

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