"my mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style."
- Maya Angelou
I recently watched this TED talk and I have only one word for it: Brilliant. It touches on so many current issues in such a smart, non-forced way, that you barely see it coming. It proves the utter brilliance of an open mind, and shows two worlds - Science and Dance - marrying in a perfect and beautiful union.
While walking to the train on this lovely morning, I noticed some graffiti near the tracks. I’m always intrigued by graffiti because of the raw, intense emotion behind it - love, hate, beliefs, and the like. Whoever made made their mark must have been feeling so strongly at that time, enough so to risk their lives and/or freedom to artfully express their thoughts. Aside from it being illegal, graffiti artists continue to express their angst/passions in anonymous ways and thrust their feelings into the universe. This one, in particular, made me smile due to its uplifting nature: “And it’s one life, and it’s this life, and it’s BEAUTIFUL!”. I’m not really sure where it comes from (lyrics? poem? prayer? any ideas?), but I thought it was a really nice message to start my day. So thanks anonymous, chalk-using, graffiti artist!
Speaking of street art, this reminds me of a global art project by semi-anonymous French street artist JR (2011 Ted Prize Winner). Coined the “Inside Out” project he beautifully photographs local citizens around the world in their purest form, then prints the photos on extremely large canvases and pastes them around the town. The meanings behind these photographs differ from town to town, but the overarching theme is that all people have meaning, and we all wish the same things - equality, love, and peace. At first the concept may seem a bit cerebral, however take the example of the photo he took of a Grandmother in Brazil. After enlarging it, he pasted the gigantic photo on the steps where her Grandson had been killed due to gang related violence.
It’s as if she is continuously watching over the steps so that no other “Grandson” (or any other person) bears the same fate.
I am so inspired by those that push boundaries to help people to see things in a new light. I think this is the essence of how we collectively change the world.
You can paste your own image and join JR’s global art project here!