In the beginning there was Marc Chagall.
I don’t remember what age I was. I am not even sure how we became introduced. Though I had always tipped toward the creative and artistic left, Marc was the beginning of something bigger. Marc Chagall was my first artist “like”; His art was the first to get me. And thanks to some loose pages in a worn copy of a Marc Chagall book from my highschool library, my locker not only held snapshots of friends and tear-outs of musicians, it also had a 11 x 14 black and white picture of Marc Chagall completing the paintings for the Paris Opera House ceiling.
So what was it that captivated my younger self? I think it was the playfulness of his paintings: his use of vibrant colour, his whimsical characters who rarely have their feet on the ground, his delightful light. And his stories. His paintings are simply told stories of complex subjects: love, family, faith and ones place in the world. Perhaps as a confused and angsty teenager, his version of life looked joyful and accessible. Chagall made it all simple: you love with your whole self. You float. The world alights with magic.