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Erin Burke

As we move into May we’re excited to explore a muse and incredible artist, Mark Rothko.  Since a friend introduced me to his genius, I can’t stop my obsession with his paintings and philosophies on art. Rothko’s work was consistently misinterpreted as simply being beautiful color palettes, his response to this was:  

“I'm not an abstractionist. I'm not interested in the relationship of color or form or anything else. I'm interested only in expressing basic human emotions: tragedy, ecstasy, doom, and so on.”

In the book, The Artist’s Reality: Philosophies of Art, compiled of Rothko’s writings, we get a glimpse of his worldview and struggle to evade cynicism, aspiring to the lofty goal of speaking to essential human qualities we all share; what he calls: universal emotionalism — the intention to mend rather than dissect.  I too feel a compulsion to seek universal truth and relate to his statement: ‘In matters of art, our society has substituted taste for truth, which she finds more amusing and less of a responsibility…’  Rothko found the idea that truth can be packaged and precise, absurd. He painted in order to stir emotions in the viewer, to emblazon one's spirit, to capture moments in time, feelings that unite us all, and he did that well. 

This week we focus on ecstasy in it’s many forms; cultural, personal, spiritual and artistic, to try and shine a new light on this emotion.  From Salvador Dali’s photomontage entitled ‘The phenomenon of Ecstasy’ in 1933 to the club culture of the 2000’s that tried to recreate ecstasy synthetically, it's a powerful emotion that keeps us searching for a greater understanding.

In fashion we’ve seen hints of the the early aughts and the styles that emerged at the time springing from the chemical form of “ecstasy,” pop culture and dance floors everywhere. This idea with it’s bold, bright prints were swirling around the runways again at Chanel, Roksanda Ilincic and Dsquared.  This summer will be one with grand displays of color and bold artistic prints, hopefully channeling the ecstasy we’re encountering in our own lives. 


Photo Credit: Art Deco mirror, Roksanda SS15, Mark Rothko painting, Chanel SS15

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