The first story is from Interview, April 2014, p.112. Robert Longo interviewed by actor Keanu Reeves: “….This art historian, Maria Lind, said that art is a form of understanding – like philosophy and science and mathematics are understanding – but the difference is that art has the capacity to hold all these different things. It is the form of understanding that is best suited for the contemporary time that we live in. In that sense, I think this pursuit of trying to understand things is really a critical issue. I see the issue of life and death in everything I do. I’m trying to find answers. It can be quite frustrating, but at the same time, I’m never quite satisfied with what I’m doing, so I’m always looking for the next thing. The ebb and flow as an artist is a bizarre experience, for sure.”
The second comes from Annie Dillard’s Holy the Firm, 1977: “Every day is a god, each day is a god, and holiness holds forth in time. I worship each god, I praise each day splintered down, splintered down and wrapped in time like a husk, a husk of many colors spreading, at dawn fast over the mountains split.”
The third story was in The New York Times 3 days ago. A twelve year old girl from Guatemala was let behind to live in the village with grandparents by mother and father who started a new life in the U.S. After twelve years her parents decided she should join them, and cross borders and countries guided by sharks smuggling human birds as they can. After a journey of five weeks, a man and the girl were arrested in Ciudad Juarez, near the border. The girl, terrified, cried all the tears she had at the police station. They put her in a house for found children. The day after she was hung in the bathroom, the shower curtain around her neck.
The fourth story is a painting, once more by Sharon Ellis. She defies time. Today the painting is my husk, invisibly containing this girl and all the victims of poverty. I need this painting, because the air in it cries drops of blood. The painting understands.