By Emmanuel Ezeobidi
Have you ever looked at a portrait and it was literally looking straight back at you, piercing into your soul like a dagger to the heart and ruffling your mentality? You stare and are sucked into this world of nothingness like you have been struck with this feeling of belonging until finally, it seems like someone understands what you go through everyday of your life. Sometimes, you might be lost in the moment and not notice time breeze past you. Through this image glued to your mind, you are able to see and recognise the pain you hide in disguise. They haunt others as well, but in different forms, and you feel relieved to find that you, and everyone else in the universe share so many things in common. This is what
I believe, makes us connect to each other.
On days when I feel blue and in need of reprieve, I visit the art gallery. Sometimes I need a place to cool off and escape.
It is a place with both beautiful art works and really crazy ones. At first, they look so motionless and harmless but when you look again, they are roaring at you with fangs dug deep into your conscience. They are a marvel that leaves you lost in a paradise you are unwilling to let go of.
In the gallery, you will also find some dark and shady paintings, their concept far from your grasp. Even when the artist sheds a light you’re still lost in their gothic meanings. For a few moments you believe, that if you could come out unscathed, then you have freed yourself from the grip of life’s wormhole. These are paintings that are key to self-discovery. They are creative and unique in their very own sense. Yet once we grasp their meaning and see the light that their muddiness tries so hard to conceal, it is gold (not fool’s gold) but the feeling is pretty precious.
There is a chance of finding yourself in this place. I know I certainly won’t be able to afford any of the paintings but I often find myself there, dressed for the occasion save I'd be stuck at the entrance. Usually, there’s some girl I eventually steal away with a few lines at the end of the night. I just connect the dots of my poetry with that of the painting and that somehow strikes her with delight and I discover a constellation of influences on her thoughts and actions.
I am always dazzled by how the artist’s brush works to perfection. How it is able to convey thoughts and emotions as it glides through the preset canvas. It is a craft like no other, able to relate the internal and external features of what defines humanity through inanimate depictions. It certainly does extend beyond the realm of the abstract. When I write, I strip myself off this wool of pain and let the world gaze at my unclad sense of portrayal. At first, I always feel cold exposing my bareness but because my biceps chorus my strength, I am able to seduce her into understanding my inner fragility. The artist will draw out inner demons, paint his fears on the spectrum of light and all we see is how lovely one’s demon could look when given a stage to shine.
We are very much alike, the artist and I, even if we adopt different approaches to our elegant designs. We orchestrate these beautiful tunes from the depths of our hearts like the great orchestras of time past. We are naught but seducers of the soul and all we do is render a voice to our minds. It is this sound that varies between us. Like my great mentor, Leonardo Da Vinci did say “Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen.”
There are times I want to mix them up so bad. I crave to paint clear my fears that my poetry can only make faint. I want to let the world see me in my truest form, the devil I am inside, the angel I pretend to be. I try, you see, but at every attempt, the brushes always feel too light for my shaky and trembling hands. They break, they wither, along with my emotions. If I am able to display my dark side with intent and purpose, then I am my own superman, else I am stuck with, seeing is believing and then how do I let the world see my nightmares? For this alone, I envy the artist.