Wednesday, March 11, 2009

My Year of Hopefulness - The Art of Gregory Colbert

I recently purchased a print by photographer Gregory Colbert. I am in love with his work because it lifts me up in a way that is wholly different from most other fine art. He's famous for his sepia-toned photographs of people interacting with animals. A boy in Mexico reads a story to an elephant, a gymnast swims with whales, a child crouches down beside a leopard.

The images are striking in their simplicity and their profound belief that animals and people can co-exist peacefully and for mutual benefit. I find that they are images that help me to meditate and center my mind that runs at a million miles an hour these days. I never grow tired of looking at them, imagining the stories behind those photographs. I ask myself so many questions as I look at them: how did this animal and this person come to be in the same place? How do they know each other? What were they doing just before and what did they do just after the photo was taken?

This is the beauty of art like Gregory Colbert's: it allows us to imagine the improbable, it takes us on a journey that we would never go on otherwise, and it inspires us to dream. Through good art, we actually grow our idea of the world around us and can begin to see our role in the world with fresh eyes. All of sudden we realize that the improbable is not impossible. All things become likely.

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