The Black Square

'A painter should begin every canvas with a wash of black, because things in nature are dark except where exposed to light' - Leonardo Di Vinci

Today I wanted to share something with you guys that I discovered in Vancouver and has been on my mind a lot recently.

Now, I don't know how many of you are into art, so I just wanted to start off by saying that this totally isn't a doting art review piece. While this is based on an art piece that I did discover in the Vancouver Art Gallery, I'm not going to talk about the in depth analysis of it. Mainly because I have no idea how, but secondly because I know that most of you probably don't really care.

Anyway, it was more about the experience I had as I looked at it.

I'll set the scene for you guys:

I had just gone to the art gallery with 3 of my friends from the hostel that I was staying at, at the time. It was a really rainy afternoon and our plan was pretty much to go to the art gallery, indulge the cultural and creative parts of our brain, and then go back to the hostel and kill a few brain cells with booze and clubbing.

Anyway, so this art gallery was absolutely spectacular.
4 levels, 4 different art exhibits, all of them incredible. Some of them incredibly confusing, but all of them stunning.

We were on level 2, I believe, when we came across my favourite piece. It was just a completely black canvas. A canvas that had been painted black by the artist.

At first, I was mildly confused, until I read the description on the wall beside it.
For the life of me, I can't remember the name of the piece in question and I have scoured the internet trying to find the name, or the artist, but I just can't. But I guess that doesn't matter.

The idea behind the piece was that it was a completely blank, black canvas, that was supposed to be a platform for abstract thought. The entire point of the piece was that you could sit there, stare at this mass of black, and let your mind wander where it wanted.

I was lucky enough that I had with me a good friend who was also so enchanted by what we called 'the black square'.
The two of us must have sat there for at least 20 minutes before our other friends came and found us, just bouncing abstract ideas off each other.
About the world, about human life, about consciousness, about anything and everything. All of a sudden, this simple black square had transformed into an intense discussion about life and being.

It might sound simple and maybe even a little cliche or out there to some people but hey, it's 2 months later and I still think about it at least once every two weeks.
Maybe that's all art is, it's just perception and pure abstract thought.


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