Sunday, September 15, 2013


Dali and Gala

The relationship between artist and muse is a delicate, complex and tumultuous thing. Some famous examples of such relationships, whether long term or short lived include: Andy Warhol and his muse Edie Sedgwick, Salvador Dali's wife and long time muse, Gala and Vermeer's 'girl with the pearl earring'' who obviously inspired a work of beauty but we never did know her name, and Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe, a relationship of give and take in which they were each other's muse.
Andy and Edie
I will assume that all artists have a Muse, but I'm not sure because I have really never asked another artist if they have one... or two. Or nine. I believe that's how many there are according to the myths.
I actually have a few. They are and can be, at times, the usual suspects: Calliope, Melpomene, Thalia, Erato et al, but I have a number of my very own as well.
the classical 9 Muses
My strongest muse from the past was Nature, but it was a lonely job and so I have since acquired many more. Currently all of them, save for one ( a guest role), and the nine classics, are alter egos of myself and I have been guided by this same cast of characters for the last 5 or 6 years now.
Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe
These Muses are who I call on and they push me and pull me along to hatch an idea or bring an idea to fruition. They stir the strongest of emotions in me and cause me to paint or write in intervals until they are quiet and cease to torment me. I say torment because they induce me to endlessly think about the piece I'm working on. During these times I cannot remain focused on much else for very long as they burst into any and most other thoughts that I have. They keep me tethered to wakefulness and refuse to let me succumb to deep sleep. They can disrupt my days and nights for long periods of time, but without them...well, I dread the thought. I have only once been abandoned by them and it was a dark time indeed. For a few years I called and called for them, wept for them and cursed them, but they left me alone. When they finally returned, the fickle things that they are, I promised myself that I would keep them close so as to feel their pulse, their vibrations, their life. I whole heartedly love them all and am nothing without them,truly.