Apart from surface manifestations altogether, this realm was simultaneously one of austere simplicity and aesthetic intricacy, of departure from realism and immersion in reality, of intense emotion and uninhibited expression.
I cherished this connection—a relationship built upon flowing melodies rather than broken phrases.
After each impromptu concert, he carefully guided my fingers along the smooth, worn body of the flute, clapping after I successfully played my first tentative note.
Indeed, not only does this essay document Bobby’s development from child to young adult, but Bobby’s art also matures from something orderly and superficial to something abstract and deeply meaningful.
What separates Bobby’s essay from a well-written story, however, is the subtextual narrative it provides the reader.
Though, on the surface, Bobby’s essay explores the contrast between the abstractness of his art and the order of rest of his life, it also mirrors the history of art itself.
Just as Bobby the old artist had “the proportions just right, the contrast perfected” in his sketchbook, so too did the painters of the Renaissance work tirelessly to master perspective—to make art seem as realistic as possible.
No, it was not so clean and not so white and not so nice.
But I have drawn—rather, lived—in this studio for most of my past ten years.
It was the difference between drawing a man's face and using abstraction to explore his soul.
But thus was the fundamental gap in my artistic understanding—the difference between the surface realities that I wanted to depict, and the profound though elusive truths of the human condition that art could explore.