Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
--Martin Luther King, Jr.
These last few weeks have been, to say the least, riddled with fights for freedom, equality, and have often ended with deaths. From the black man shot seven times in the back, to the protests in Wisconsin ending with two dead, one injured, and a 17-year old kid arrested for homicide, the continuing protests in Oregon, and the untimely death of Chadwick Boseman, may he rest in peace. They genuinely have been weeks of "barely bearable" lightness of being. If it weren't for art --the arts, mine, and others' -- inserting itself into life, showing some light in the existing darkness, it would indeed have been unbearable.
Today, enter Cuno Amiet. Born in 1868 in Solothurn, Switzerland, a town located at the southern end of the Jura by the River Aare, about 30 km east of Biel/Bienne, where Italian grandeur meets with French charm and German practicality. He apprenticed with Frank Buchser when he turned 15. He enrolled at the Munich Academy in 1887, where he remained until 1888. It is there that he met Giovanni Giacometti, who would become his best friend and with whom he studied the works of the French impressionists. In 1889 they both moved to Paris to study at the Académie Julian. Being dissatisfied with academic art, he joined the Pont-Aven School in 1892, where he learned from Émile Bernard, Paul Sérusier, Roderic O'Conor, and Armand Séguin and remained there for 13 months. It is where he came into contact with the works of Paul Gauguin, who had left for Tahiti in 1891. This experience had a most profound impact on him and helped him develop his skills as a colorist. It was also during that time that Armand Séguin introduced him to the art of etching.
Back in Switzerland, he met Ferdinand Hodler, fell under his influence, and tried to find a compromise between the color-rich paint manner of Pont-Aven and the strict draftsmanship innate to the German painting tradition. In 1904, during an exhibition with Hodler, it had become a common opinion that Amiet was Hodler's "young" follower. A truth he recognized and that, just maybe, made him decide to return to the path of the modern French art of Pont-Aven. It was there, between 1904 and 1914, while developing an independent artistic personality, that he produced some of his finest work. Although oil painting was Amiet's top choice of medium, he was a highly gifted watercolorist and printmaker. During the early 1920s, he also turned his hand to sculpture and produced a group of expressive portrait busts in bronze and marble.
In 1898, he married Anna Luder, a tavern keeper's daughter from Oschwand, and settled there with her. He would remain there until he died in 1961. He was 93.
"People don't get better, they just get smarter. When you get smarter, you don't stop pulling the wings off flies, you just think of better reasons for doing it."
— Stephen King, Carrie
A scaringly familiar quote that is utterly applicable to today's scenery. The lightness of being, being barely bearable as the "leadership" muddles the waters of truth. What baffles me is that even though we may have different opinions regarding many things, the cult following we are now witnessing is bringing decency and truth, and democracy in essence, to its knees.
For some time now, social media sites have allowed false information to navigate their domain. They are often refusing to put posts down for not "constituting infractions to their policies:, whatever that means. It thus allows outside "forces" to publish untrue, blatantly fake, and false posts with headlines so twisted they could convert a saint. In this day and age, whatever you read, please check the sources. Verify everything and find other outlets reporting on the same subject. If the source is wrong or unverifiable, the information/news/post is probably wrong, fake, altered, or entirely false. We all have a job to do. What is happening here seems to be happening in many countries all over the world. Fascism is in its birthing phase, and we have a duty (think history) to put a stop to it. If you don't like something, put a stop to it.
The time to only react is over. Action is necessary and peaceful opposition is the key. Peaceful; without violence, verifying, and correcting.—time after time.
Democracy is at risk, and I, for one, am not willing to sit by idly and let it happen.
Until next time peoples of the page, be kind. Be safe. Socially distance when congregating, and wear your masks. It is better to be safe than sorry. If not for you, do it to keep others safe. Namaste.
Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering. --Yoda
So, choose Light. --Me.
Note from author: ALL IMAGES shown in this column are courtesy of NLew/Reflectionsandstuff. All artwork of NLew is ©2020NLew. All other images belong to the estate of Cuno Amiet or the galleries/museums that own them and are used here under the creative commons license for instructional purposes/non-commercial use without modifications of which the sole purpose is the sharing of Art only. Please respect this and do not misuse them. Take a moment to visit and subscribe to the mailing list on our website @ www.reflectionsandstuff.com. It is FREE and your email will never be shared with anyone without your consent. Check it out. Enjoy the site. Please note that if you want to copy/use any material/photo from this website you may need permission of the owner/s. Again, respect Artists' copyrights please. Never forget to mention the original source. As always, I am thankful for your patronage.