It’s a rainy Saturday morning today in San Jose, California. Night lamps are still on and the lights from them are reflected on the wet courtyard. I can see the raindrops making tiny circles and then disappearing. The valley afar is hiding behind the cloud. Unmindfully, I switched on my phone and saw the count. Total deaths, 64,625 in the world as of now from the novel coronavirus. The omnipresence of death everywhere! Behind each number, there was a life, a story, dreams, and wisdom. Now all gone. The fleeting thoughts and lasting realities of their final hour remained unknown. A big wave from the ocean of death is sweeping the world. All together we are caught in a sudden strangeness.
In this social media and digital era, our minds are increasingly getting saturated with images and videos in different forms. Manipulation, reproduction, and distribution of images and videos can be done within seconds using powerful software that is accessible to all. From my understanding, these have manyfold results. People have the power to express and distribute their work like never before. But, the lack of uniqueness and originality leads to relentless production in order to remain in the top of people’s minds. This overproduction leads to saturation and nothing really registers in the mind of the viewers, good or bad. In other words, the shelf life of such images or artworks has decreased significantly. I being a blogger, who extensively uses various mediums to tell a story, always try to find the subtle balance between art and its commercial and mass appeal, a difficult task in this world of excess. When I heard about the exhibition on the effervescent pop art of Andy Warhol at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art or SFMOMA, I turned to the pop art maestro for inspiration and motivation to keep on creating.
The epitome of truth is death. Our all anxieties, insecurities in life, desires, failures all come to a halt with death. We may philosophize or fantasize death, but there is no denying that no one can ever escape the cold hands of the grim reaper. Poets, painters, musicians or scientists, all express death in many unique ways. One such representation is Gustav Klimt’s Death and Life – a painting which was honored with a first prize at the 1911 International Art Exhibition in Rome. Klimt believed that this was his most important figurative work.