Instead of writing about my usual Print of the Week, this week I wanted to take a moment to honor the victims of the Paris terrorist attacks. A few days ago Paris was rocked with the worst tragedy France has seen since WWII. The beautiful “City of Light” filled with all of its elegance, art, and culture was suddenly dark.
Paris is one of my favorite cities and holds a special place in my heart. I studied art there for a time after college and throughout my career I’ve had the opportunity to draw and paint many French structures, landmarks, and scenes. In my opinion, the beauty of Paris is unmatched, and as such, is some of my favorite (and most frequent) subject matter.
Yesterday I started to think of ways I could use my artwork to help the victims. A few years ago I did a sketch of the Eiffel Tower for a magazine and thought it would be fitting to use in the composition for my Pray for Paris print. I’ve decided to donate 100% of the profits from the sale of this print to the French Red Cross to aid the victims of the terrorist attacks.
In the midst of great tragedy, art is so much more than a frivolous distraction. It expresses emotion, comforts the soul, and demonstrates that even in the darkest times in life there is still beauty for us to enjoy. I’m reminded of the words of C.S. Lewis where he eloquently compares art to friendship and illustrates its significance saying, “Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art, like the universe itself (for God did not need to create). It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which give value to survival.” Indeed. Appreciation for beauty–for the arts and culture–is just one of the many virtues that adds value to our lives and sets us apart from radical Islamic terrorists whose only goal is to kill and destroy any culture or religion that differs from their own.
“Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art, like the universe itself (for God did not need to create). It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which give value to survival.” -C.S. Lewis
The motto of Paris is Fluctuat nec Mergitur, which means “It is tossed by the waves but does not sink.” What a fitting description for such a resilient people. Paris is still reeling, and while our friends remain in great pain, they will not be defeated. They are as resolute as La Tour Eiffel not to let the terrorists win.
It is my hope that not only will my art be used in some small way to help the victims of this tragedy, but that whenever you look at it, you’ll be reminded to value each day and appreciate the beauty you find in life.