Thursday, January 14, 2016

Lost Artists

Here's a confession: I am totally one of those people who cries when an artist whose work I have loved and valued — a stranger to me — dies.

This week has been rather tearful.

On Monday, I got a text from my husband telling me that David Bowie was dead.
Plenty has been written about him, with much more eloquence than I can manage, but he was a lifelong presence in my world. He was one of the earliest singers I could recognize by voice, because his was so distinctive. Like many other girls my age, I fell a little bit in love with his Goblin King. As I matured, I came to appreciate his work with more depth. I was inspired by his artistry and awed by his creativity. I was delighted by his brief appearances as Andy Warhol or Nikola Tesla in films where I wasn't expecting to see him. His music never failed to impress me or move me, even if I didn't particularly care for a given song.

But I never knew him. Never had the pleasure of seeing him perform live. No actual connection between us.

Yet I weep. For his wife and family. For those who did know and love him and have now lost him. Out of gratitude for the sheer enormity of his legacy. What an artist.

And then Alan Rickman died. He was the same age as Bowie (69) and had also been fighting cancer.

He was well-know and beloved for his globally-recognized roles as Professor Snape in the Harry Potter films and Hans Gruber in Die Hard, but I've always been a bit partial to his less-obvious portrayals. He was an outstanding villain, it's true, but his quiet longing in Sense and Sensibility was heart wrenching. He was simply hilarious in GalaxyQuest. He was despicable in an entirely new way in Love Actually. He was, without a doubt, one of my favorite actors.

So here I am, in the same week, crying over the loss of yet another brilliant Brit. My thoughts are with their  families, and I'm so grateful to have "known" them.    

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