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The Agony & The Ecstasy

Recently I watched The Agony and The Ecstasy” starring Charleston Heston as Michelangelo and Rex Harrison as Pope Julius II. The movie was released in 1965 and tells the story of Michelangelo’s artistic conflicts while painting the Sistine Chapel in the 1500s. I watched the movie right before I was getting ready to travel for a photo assignment. The entire movie was extremely powerful for me as an artist, but one line, a quote of Michelangelo in particular I think of often when working with my images.

“If the wine is not good, then throw it out!” ~ Michelangelo

He spoke these words right before he destroyed a rather large section of the Sistine Chapel he had been painting. It was large panels of the 12 Apostles Pope Julius II had wanted, but was not true to his own vision.  I think of this quote many times when selecting, editing images or just striving for excellence. Working in the art world can be a constant battle between the agony and the ecstasy, but I certainly would choose to to nothing else.

Another lesson to be learned from Michelangelo is no matter where you are creatively, you have the power to migrate from one modality to another. Or in my case, one concept to another. Michelangelo’s true creative love was being a Sculptor and only committed to the painting the Sistine Chapel with the promise of a future sculpting commission. However, the Sistine Chapel, in the end is what he is most known for.

There are many other concepts to be learned from Michelangelo, but watch the movie The “Agony and the Ecstasy” and see what you come up with.

Thanks for reading and visit my website to view more of my work.