Art, Artists and Vulnerability

Two years ago I went to a contemporary art exhibit that featured all sorts of creations, from sculptures to videos projected on the ceiling, from fashion to a little piece of writing. It was like a page rip from a diary, it was inside a small turquoise frame, on a black pedestal.

I was struck by the simplicity of the piece, and by the audacity of its author. Could that be considered art? Could that have found a place inside a gallery? The answer to both questions was clearly yes! Someone had been brave enough to put it there, someone had thought it communicated a message others would appreciate. I certainly did. I certainly needed it. It steered all sorts of questions within me.

What is holding me back? What is making me believe what I have to say will not be heard? Why am I letting perfection keep me from exposing my message to the world? Why am I letting fear win?

I don’t know the name of the author of the letter inside that frame. I don’t remember what was written on it. But I do remember what I read, what it said to me. It said, “don’t you wait another day”, it also said, “vulnerability is not a weakness.”

Art exhibits are explorations inward. They are a wonderful way to get in touch with the power of vulnerability. Every artist, from Picasso to Warhol, from de Beauvoir to King, puts everything she has into a project, a piece of canvas a piece of writing, and then, she lets it go. He puts it out there for everyone to see and judge. He does not hide its flaws.

They all dream and do. With every work they hang on a wall, place on a room, on an open space, print on paper or publish digitally, they expose their vulnerability, they stand for something greater: self-expression, diversity, bravery, and courage.

I want to be one of those daring artists, men, and women who stare at fear and vulnerability in the face and do it anyway.

Coming up, a little about my recent piece “Entrevista con Ella” (Interview with Her) for the Expo Mujer 2017. And my take on womanhood.



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