Years ago, in my early teen years, I fancied myself an art enthusiast. My BFF from Delaware would traipse with me through the many glorious museums of New York City, and we collected stuff from gift shops and thought we were cool. Then years later, I fell deeply in love with one of NYC's most prolific photographic art master framers. An unintended decision that changed my life, for both better and for worse. He walked away from the art world because of a terrible accident that changed his world view.
We had a beautiful child, a tumultuous relationship, a ridiculously unmatched union, and sadly, a violent separation, more than once. We were haunted by many inequities and when the thing that brought us closely together, both art and our child were gone, we were left with barely anything except music.
I remember Sunday mornings after my daughter left for college when good music would blast from the living room, to make up for an evening of deep despair. While love was lost, I loved me, my child, God, and the causes I fight for everyday more than anyone on this earth.
I recently recalled seeing the work of one of the world's most prolific photographers, Nan Goldin, being framed in my former love's studio one late night in 1994. They were self-portraits, what we would now call selfies of her being beaten of her half naked and presumably high, and traumatized body. I asked him, why she would take these? Had he ever asked her why she would take these pictures in this most raw and vulnerable state? He had no explanation for why except that he believed that it was her art. I believe it was her way of showing the way that her life was imitating art. Her pain played out in her art. That this was her life and she wanted people to see how she had been treated and brutalized. Her show sold out the next month.
I did not see the signs. Life would indeed imitate art in my own life as well. That was her way of dealing with it. I had no idea what was to come in my life with my ex, or what others who had loved him had endured.