Saturday, March 23, 2013

The Hidden Horse

Indeed, why does a painting or sketch of something often look better than the thing itself?

I don't know the precise answer. But I am reminded of an anecdote an old friend of mine had once shared with me.

In one of those North European countries (I don't remember which), there happens to be a community of artisans specialised in making wooden toys. My friend, one day during one of his trips to the place, stood watching a person making a wooden horse with fascinating precision and speed, almost hard to believe. After a while, my friend couldn't contain himself and asked the craftsman how he managed to do such a hard thing (building toy horses) with such ease. The good natured man smiled and said in his accented and broken English: "Not hard at all. Not hard at all." Then picking up a block of wood, he said: "Here's wood. You just have to remove what is not horse. And there! You have your horse!"

...and this story seems to be a block of wood hidden in which seems to lie the horse -- the answer to the big question: 'Why does a painting look better than a scenery?'

In every block of wood that passes before our eyes, there's hidden a horse. An artist, in some way or another, just takes that horse out and presents it to you. In every scene that passes before us, there's a painting hidden. An artist just takes that painting out for us. By highlighting what's interesting. Abstracting away the rest. Often, he highlights what could be interesting.


mahua said...

Very well presented. It's all about perspective. The toy-maker could see the horse in the wood, just the way a painter can see the key features out of a scenery. I wonder if we could practice it on ourselves also by remembering those moments which would make the larger picture of life look beautiful. Can we or Should we?

Swarup said...

At first, I saw mountains as mountains and rivers as rivers.
Then, I saw mountains were not mountains and rivers were not rivers.
Finally, I see mountains again as mountains, and rivers again as rivers.

Your hidden horse reminded me of the above I repeat many times.

By the way, I have heard Michael Angelo (not first hand) saying a similar thing of there being a sculpture in every stone. Make an abstraction of the artists!!

By the same token, there is an artist in everyone, carve the
non-essential away and you may
discover one. May be in some inspiring moment....

Remember? Mai shaayar to nahin....

Pritesh Dagur said...

Very beautiful post does take an artist to see the beauty in what would appear to others something commonplace.......