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A close up photo of the painting Black Venus by Mark Bradford. It shows an abstract image full of small rectangles, arranged in the shape of a city map.

Daily Helping for February 10th, 2023 – Mark Bradford – Black Venus

Once again it’s Friday. And once again I find myself coming to the end of a very challenging week. Which is why today’s daily helping is Black Venus by Mark Bradford.

I’ve written before about my hang ups about visual art. About how I often worry if I know enough about the medium to write anything halfway intelligent about it. And today’s daily helping is no exception. I discovered Mark Bradford’s work through an article at the Paris Review, which describes the author’s relationship with experiencing and writing about art. I found it to be a fascinating read, because I could relate to a lot of what the writer was talking about in terms of experiencing art. But especially the closing line. He posits, instead of asking “Is it art?”, you should really be asking “Did it change you?”

I don’t know if Black Venus changed me. But there is something about this painting that my brain just loves. Perhaps it’s the bird’s-eye view of a neighbourhood that evokes a feeling of soaring through the air. Or maybe it’s the combination of colours. I’ve always had an affinity for teal. Whatever it is, I know that I will never be able to intellectually explain why Black Venus is “good art”. All I know is that Mark Bradford has created something beautiful that made me smile and calmed my mind after a particularly difficult week. So yes. I guess you could say that it changed me.

Suggestions for artists I should check out? Please contact me with your ideas. I hope you enjoyed your daily helping of art!