Michelango…For Me.

Posted: October 14, 2013 in Art, Grief, Uncategorized
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I generally find a way to fit humor into every post here at 6 of One… But today is a more serious subject. I was inspired by the Daily Prompt.

I love art museums. I’ve been to some of the best in the US. I have yet to travel abroad, so my poor passport sits empty, and I only imagine the beauty of Michelangelo‘s David in person. The realism of David’s veins, his musculature, and all of his human beauty, is miraculous to me.

Indulge me for a moment by imagining that Michelangelo is here in this age, and that by some serendipitous circumstance, he has decided to create a new David. A modern one, but just for me. When he asks who the likeness should be, the answer is simple. My brother.

When the life-sized statue is complete, it is reminiscent in pose, of Rodin’s Thinker statue. However, the man in this statue isn’t deep in thought, he is deep in grief. Mounted on a pedestal, you are required to look up to view it. He is a large man, and would stand well over six feet, if he were upright. Instead, he is seated in a low slung armchair, which folds his long legs up, as only a very tall man is accustomed to sitting. On the edge of the seat, his left elbow rests on his left knee with his arm bent at nearly a ninety degree angle, and his left hand hangs limp in the space between his legs. His sharp right elbow digs into his right knee, as his back slumps forward enough for his head to hang into his right hand, which reaches up to grasp his forehead and rake into his curly hair. Viewed from the front, you can’t see most of his face, and you have the feeling that that’s the idea. He doesn’t want to be seen. His posture speaks exhaustion.

Circling the sculpture to your right and closing in, in order to get a better look, details become clearer. Joints of the hand, wrinkles in the knuckles and rough skin show he must have done some work with his hands. Bulging veins of the arms almost seem to be actually carrying blood. How is it possible to sculpt such detail? How does an artist not go blind looking so closely (by necessity) at one’s own work for years, even decades? Looking up into the face, it is painfully clear the depth of grief depicted here. The brow is furrowed. There appear to be tears welled in the eyes, which are beginning to squint, as if they might squeeze shut any second. Tears are tracking his face. The mouth is open in a type of grimace, with the teeth slightly bared. Surely, he is wailing. There is another vein on his forehead that just peeks out from behind his hand, and it looks about to burst with the strain of blood pressure. So does the one running down his neck, and it’s no wonder. Its muscles are taut, and it would be surprising if this man didn’t have a splitting headache from the muscle tension, alone.

You step back again, and take him in as a whole. He is broken and battered from within. He is tough to take. You examine the brass name plate on the front of the pedestal.

“Death of a Daughter”

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