When I was younger, there was a song I heard – it doesn’t matter who played it, or when, but there it was – this great soaring peak. It was so high, so blissful, so full of light and depth and joy. And it showed me, I think, when I was younger, what was possible out of music and therefore, to me, what was possible out of art and, likewise, what was possible out of life: that if you took the time consider all the stuff of life – all the wonder and beauty and darkness and disharmony – all the words and all the songs – the people and the places and the things – the emotions and opinions – that there is this thing – this ineffable nameless thing – within all things and it doesn’t need religion, doesn’t even need to be called spiritual – it doesn’t have to try to be anything – it just is. And it is so sublimely beautiful, so supremely blissful, that I could not help but call it love.
I decided that’s what I wanted out of my artwork – to tap upon that is-ness – to dance and play with it – to love and cry and learn and fly. That is the heart at the core of my work – touching that which cannot be touched, naming that which cannot be named, and expressing the vast ineffable inexpressible is-ness.
At times, it might seem hard to catch that which cannot be caught – to find it – dance with it – as soon as you reach, it is gone. Look and it has vanished. My work is about that, too. It’s about that dance. The parts that seem ugly or chafe against me or rub me the wrong way – the parts where there is longing, a desire for a connection, the illusion of shells, of skins, of perceptions. It’s about all of it.
Why don’t I paint more of the ugly, more of the darkness? one might ask.
Well, I try. And it’s in there. But, in the end, it always turns out beautiful.
And, in the end, I am a lover of beauty.
- Michael Divine