Yin/Yang

By Rick Rotante

I greatly believe in the Yin/ Yang theory. This is an Asian theology which teaches bal – ance in life makes all things plausible and enjoyable. There is a time for everything and everything has a time. We need work as well as play ac – tivity and rest. As artists, we all know this to be true. There is a time to think what to paint as well as time to create work. One without the other leads invariably to mediocrity and confusion, which we are drowning in today; politically as well as socially.

Society is experiencing the results of too much work, too much drive, too much ambi – tion. This is why the world is in the state it is in now. Every day we are being informed, in newspapers and on television, that we need more of every – thing. We can’t effectively handle what we have now. It saddens me when I read the newspapers or watch broad – casts designed to obfuscate in – formation. It is getting harder to know the good guys from the bad guys.

Americans work more hours than any most other cultures on earth including the Japa – nese. We happily give our employers 60 to 90 hours a week without any objection. We won’t need despots push – ing us in the coming future; we will do it all by ourselves. We have already lost the fun – damental beliefs in a Yin/ Yang theory. Success, money, fame and wealth have become the catchwords in everything we do. We are no longer re – warded to perform our jobs for the love of it, for the pure pleasure and satisfaction, for the truth of the process.

The one truth in my life is my art. It is the one place I can still strive for a truth. It is the one place in which I seek the truth; the one constant. It’s hard to lie in painting. If you are an artist worth your salt, there is no faking it and you know when painting is a lie. True, artists have painted lies (propaganda) throughout his – tory, but they are obviously lies which can be picked up easily and recognized as such by those who look. Great works tell the truth.

Examples of such truth are the paintings “Ecstasy of Saint Teresa” by Gian Loren – zo Bernini, “Guernica” by Pablo Picasso, “May 3rd, 1808” by Goya and not the least of which was “Conspira – cy of Batavians under Claudi – us” by Rembrandt. There are many more, most of which have lost meaning for us through time and neglect. These paintings are not house – hold images I know. When you see them, you will under – stand.

Art holds the possibility to heal, raise us up, open our eyes, and connect us to the sublime, to soothe us and bring comfort and offer us truth. If we encourage art, offer more teaching and knowledge, allow it back into our schools and place it at the forefront of American thinking, we can use it to restore positive reasons for being and rediscover the Yin Yang of life: the balance in nature we have lost.

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