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Notes on Artist Ran Ortner

The June issue of The Sun magazine has a spellbinding interview with an artist named Ran Ortner, known for his paintings of the ocean that are sometimes eight feet tall and thirty-two feet wide.
His thoughts on art, the ocean and humanity are captivating:

"In the ocean I see the collision of life and death: the rising of each wave is life insisting on itself, and in the trough I see death. These high points and low points are all part of the larger dance. You really feel the lament of the ocean, and at the same moment there's a generosity, because the waves keep coming. These forces are working back and forth endlessly.

There are tempests and dark depths. You do not mess with the ocean. It will pummel you and chew you up. It is a devastatingly brutal. And yet it can be luminous and delicate and tender. We clean our wounds there. What a reflection of our own impossible nature. We're so brutal, so base, so horrific, and yet we have the capacity for such tenderness, such warmth, such empathy, such generosity.....

.....the  etymology [of art is] related to connection; it shares its root with arm, the meaning 'to join.' Art is an attempt to connect the sacred and the profane, dark and light, life and death. Art deals with all that is  irreconcilable, the collision of opposites that we call life...

...Our job as artists is to become powerfully personal in our work, and if we touch the source, the most central wound, the deepest wells, then we actually touch the universal....

To make art is to give, to pour yourself into life, so you don't die with the music inside you.

.....you have to approach your work as if it were a matter of life and death. If you don't need it with every fiber of your being, it's going to be passive, trite entertainment. It doesn't become great until it's the stuff of your last breath, the fullness of who you are."


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 27th, 2012 11:51 am (UTC)
I am three months behind in reading my subscription to The Sun. Thanks for the preview.
May. 27th, 2012 04:39 pm (UTC)
Me, too.
May. 27th, 2012 01:18 pm (UTC)
Those are amazing!!! Wow! I thought they were pictures.
May. 27th, 2012 04:40 pm (UTC)
I wish I could see one of his works in person.
May. 27th, 2012 09:54 pm (UTC)
gorgeous - thanks for sharing!
May. 30th, 2012 02:13 am (UTC)
Awe-invoking, art and words.
Jun. 20th, 2012 12:34 pm (UTC)
Seaching for Ort after the sun article and tripped on to Forced Optimisn,what a pleasant surprise . My wife and friends say I should have that on atee shirt or printed on the inside of my glasses. Thank you

Michael A Kuhni
Sometimes a haiku poet
Solstice Farm Maine
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )