Michelangelo and Viola

img_20190330_110012_622Caught one of the last days of the magnificent #michelangelo and #BillViola exhibition at the @royalacademyarts
Critics who spurn Viola’s interest in mysticism and spiritual matter are just unconfident about art and are afraid. Viola is significant. In his beautiful video installations, bodies are immersed, break apart and fragment back into water and then reconstitute through light, as they do in the cycle of life; water, light, reflection… meditation on life and death and the fragmentary nature of existence. consciousness is partial  and forms are slippery…we are awake while we sleep, we sleep while we are awake…
His work really does take you to another place. I loved “Dreamers” with its Renoir colouring.
Michelangelo’s drawings are wonderful, my favourite being Children’s Bacchanal. But his writing almost surpassed the art. I didn’t know he was such a great writer. Must find out more.

by: Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475-1564)
Ravished by all that to the eyes is fair,
Yet hungry for the joys that truly bless,
My soul can find no stair
To mount to heaven, save earth’s loveliness.
For from the stars above
Descends a glorious light
That lifts our longing to their highest height
And bears the name of love.
Nor is there aught can move
A gentle heart, or purge or make it wise,
But beauty and the starlight of her eyes.
Translated into English by George Santayana (1863-1952).

the Royal Academy on a sunny late March afternoon