the envelope please!

Does art reflect life or does life reflect art? Oscar Wilde, who opined in his 1889 essay The Decay of Lying, said that, "Life imitates Art far more than Art imitates Life". Gee, that's kinda heavy, such a labyrinth of a thought Oscar. I mean, after all, just what the heck is art anyways? Or how about Ani DiFranco who said with more than a smidgen of humorous insight: "Art may imitate life, but life imitates TV." Ouch and wow is what I say to that. But, Ms. DiFranco's assertion does beg the question: "what about all the folks who don't have TV?" Well, perhaps they need to reference the "Guide For The Perplexed" by Maimonides, the sagacious Sephardic Jew from the 12th century. Actually, on second thought, after reading that well intentioned manual, one may become permanently perplexed. Which, imho, is not a bad thing. I mean, I strive to be perplexed. I don't like absolutes or having concepts placed in my head without being ready to receive them. I like a little mystery and I've always been inclined that way, even as a child. In fact, the most frequent comment on my elementary school report card was, "John seems lost, he should be tested for for a learning disability." Few people recognized that I initially grasped the concepts being imparted but that I had an intuitive sense to relinquish them, to not have them shape my world. Anyway! All this nonsense! What does it have to do with titling a painting? Well, let me put it this way: To me, art is a dialogue. Between the artist and his/her inner, some would say, true self. And, between the art and the viewer. In its most primordial state art relects the personal and the universal. That is its beauty. So, from that point of view, all the titles that have been submitted are perfect, right on, precisely reflective of someone's inner truth and I thank everybody for taking the time to ponder and respond to this annual contest. It means a lot to me and I've had a lot of fun. This year there were some really excellent submissions and I've found the challenge of choosing a winner to be impossible. So, I've decided to pick two winners and tear the painting in half so each person gets half a painting. Great idea, huh? umm no, I've actually decided to add another painting to the pot that I'll give to the top 2 titles ... "Kadiddlehopper" by Sylvia Shawcross and "Bound by Time and Money" by Jessica Tapp. Now of course I have a problem; who gets which painting? In the spirit of chance I've flipped a coin and Sylvia gets the original painting and Jessica gets the new one.


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