I have always thought it a loss to artists that the original concept of the Muse had faded, along with its practice and benefits. Alas, writer Bondo Wyszpolski has not forgotten, and puts his Muse to good purpose in the form of a show she inspired, he originated and then curated, “Alone in the Moonlight: Portraits of the Muse.”
Thirty photographers in Los Angeles were called on to interpret her, a local woman Bondo met when he interviewed her for a story on an unrelated matter, and whom he quickly recognized as a Muse. That someone we meet at a certain time and for a certain purpose: to inspire, refill, awaken, rejuvenate…use whichever term best describes that phenomenon of bumping into the soul that urges you to do your best work again, and for its own sake. Your Muse can take the form of many: male, female, youthful or not-so, handsome or no-so, friend or lover or neighbor or none of the above.
Photographer Don Adkins’ interpretation of the Muse
The exhibit is worth seeing, and Wyszpolski’s written piece on the project is required reading before you do so to best understand the ideas behind it. And the ideas. As is the case when the elegant and unconfessional make a public declaration of a private matter, Wyszpolski’s essay on the Muse in general and his in particular (her name is Laura) is potent and sensitive. An excerpt:
Women at the opera and women at art openings are women at their most alluring, but in the two years I’ve known her I’ve never been able to entice Laura to either one. Someday I’ll write the opera, but in the meantime I’ve created an art show around her.
Read the full piece here.
If you’re not in the Los Angeles area, you can view some but not all of the photos here, or see the exhibit in the flesh, which is really the preferred way to go. “Alone in the Moonlight: Portraits of the Muse” can be seen through June 29, 2011 at:Creative Arts Center 1560 Manhattan Beach Blvd. Manhattan Beach, CA 310.802.5440 www.citymb.info