PYGMALION & PLEASURE
Have you ever had a conversation with someone that just completely recharged you? I’m talking you are so excited to go out and tackle a project, or try something new because the other person had transmuted such a sense of positivity and motivation.
This is exactly what happened to me on Tuesday with my friend Laura - she’s Sicilian-American just like me, and her creativity is simply contagious. She exudes positivity and has so many great ideas to make a positive impact on the world through the arts. We’ve started laughing because every time we’re together, the table next to us stops us because they can’t help but join in on our conversation!
One of the topics we discussed was femininity and the act of exploring creative projects purely for pleasure, without feeling the need to sell it but rather to give birth to something just for you.
I’m a huge advocate of The Artist’s Way, and one of the principles I’ve applied to my life is the Artist Date - setting aside time to do things that fill up my creative cup and leave me feeling inspired and fulfilled.
The MET is my favorite place on Earth, and carving out a few hours at the museum was a non-negotiable for my time in New York. I must have visited over 100 times, and each time I go back I feel like I’m catching up with old friends who are excited to see me and show me something new about themselves.
I was walking to Modern Art wing and was oddly drawn to the book shop where I found a postcard of Jean-Léon Gérôme's Pygmalion and Galatea. I don’t think I’ve ever noticed the painting before, and I started the quest to find it the museum’s collection of 19th- And Early 20th -Century European Paintings And Sculpture.
Upon asking for directions, I met the loveliest guard from Russia whose eyes lit up and told me that it was one of his favorite works in the museum, along with the sculpture by Rodin right beside it. NYC can be rough around the edges, but when you met people so excited about something you can’t help but smile too.
A truly spectacular sight, the Museum describes work below.
Between 1890 and 1892, Gérôme made both painted and sculpted variations on the theme of Pygmalion and Galatea, the tale recounted in Ovid’s Metamorphoses. All depict the moment when the sculpture of Galatea was brought to life by the goddess Venus, in fulfillment of Pygmalion’s wish for a wife as beautiful as the sculpture he created. (Description via metmuseum.org)
After taking in the painting for almost 20 minutes, I knew that I had to learn more about the myth of Pygmalion and ordered George Bernard Shaw’s play as soon as I left the museum. I haven't read a script since studying literature in college, and I'm excited to try this because it will help further unleash my creativity by exploring a form of art that is essentially foreign to me.
Moral of the story: Let curiosity be your guide.