Tag Archive | art

Cy twombly, french barrette and the Tao in art life

from the cycle of life series

As above so below – created by Ted Barr

An older man with a French barrette stopped near me while I was viewing Cy Twombly’s works at the contemporary art museum in Berlin.

‘Eretz hakodesh’, he said

This means in Hebrew ‘the holy land’

There was a Hebrew sentence written on my shirt

We began talking about Cy Twombly’s works.

It symbolizes the Tao, he said

How is that, I inquired

The Tao is the Zen way to guide human beings through life, It says that everything flows, there are no real borders between human beings and nations, the borders are only in each human being mind. There is neither beginning nor end not happiness nor is sadness, there is no definite good as there is no definition for bad. The bad of today can turn to be the best of tomorrow.

But what has it all to do with Cy Twombly’s art works?

This, he pointed at a big white canvas with 3 green lines on it, is creating from emptiness.

What do you mean by emptiness?

it means forming a visual manifestation of what passes through the creator rather than what he is and what he feels at the moment.

Fullness carries all the weight of fears, inhibitions, moralities, believes, relations.

Emptiness is just a shade in the dark.

It is easy to detect Tao painters, they are not trying to impress, they are not trying to draw attention not to them nor to their art works, they are not trying to fill all the canvas sometimes one line is enough to explicit the entire artist’s journey.

Have Tao in your life

Ted Barr, Berlin, November  2012


Cycles of being


Wounded bird from the Cycle of life painting series created by Ted Barr


The headline ‘cycle of life’ is a partial name and doesn’t describe the full dynamic at play. The name should be the cycle of being and evolving in which life is but a part of a much larger and endless span of continuous metamorphosis between matter, awareness, energy that weave together in what appears to be being. I wrote few articles about the motivation in creating my new ‘Cycle of life’ painting series, this short article is a complementary way to look at this concept.

Being or living is but a short manifestation of matter and awareness. It is obvious that all living creatures would die, but dying is yet another moment of transformation in which matter and awareness separates and returns into mother Earth arsenal for creating other forms of life or life supporting entities.

The question is what happens to the awareness part that defines human beings. Religions were created for this enigma, if the life/death cycle would be clear we wouldn’t need pops, priests and rabbis; we would not need fairy tale ideas about heaven and hell; nor soldiers and armies. The disagreement about who holds the true meaning of life caused more deaths than any disease or planetary revenge. We need religion because we need to be part of something, as one cell is lost alone. There are no lonely planets, but only planets gathering around a sun, so it is a human need to gather around something. In ancient times it was but a campfire. How many lives could be spared along history if campfires would be the main cause of human gatherings?

I believe that nothing awaits us after death. Even if we eat the best marvels of the world cuisine we will turn skinny after few days in the ground. As I see it, the meaning of life lies only in the contribution of all human lives to a certain planetary order and as the ant or the bee dies after completing its mission so human beings and every other living creature.  Living is but a part, a very small part in the being chain, so it is only the circle that can encapsulate the essence of the endless cycle that has no beginning nor end, as the universe has no beginning or end because the ultimate rational explanation of God is what created the Big Bang, and the Dalai Lama answered wisely in saying that our universe came into being by another universe.

In the cycle of life series I tried to depict some of those aspects, this is the way I try to live the only life I’ve got; by sharing my thoughts and images with other human beings that are awake and willing to listen.

Have magic in your life

Ted Barr, Vienna, 2012


As Above So Below

Theodor barr s art – as above so below

Painting the celestial sky brings in mind some questions about the origin of life, dealing with conception, pregnancy and birth evokes similar questions about the cause of life and the very first moment that it all began. As for the conception this primary moment is the convergence of sperm and ovum, in the celestial realm it s what is called ‘the big bang’,  an unexplained fraction of infinitesimal time that represents infinite energy in a singular space area, all those elements are beyond human perception. Human beings are designed to grasp the world on a very limited scale so it s clear that there is much more to see, hear, Smell and sense than what the human senses can translate. The micro cosmos is far too small and the galactic worlds are far too vast for the human scope but with that notion arises a strange and enigmatic notion, there is a strong connection between those other worlds.

Since 1995 I m painting the deep space, galaxies, quasars, red giants and supernovas became my models. In the last year I started to paint a new series of painting inspired by the inner body photography of lennart nilsson that depicts the human formation and the fetus in the womb.

The more I explored the deep space and the new findings of the HUBBLE telescope, I found more similarity between the large scale formats of the universe and the tiniest building stones of the human existence.

All that exists moves. all that moves, moves in circles as the electron swivels the proton, the earth orbits the sun and the sun surrounds a central point (a black hole called Sagittarius A ) in the milky way. There is nothing that stands still  in the universe, there is  a constant vibration that is the core essence of every movement, this vibration has similar shape in the miniscule worlds and in the galactic realm.

In my art I am trying to connect those worlds. The atomic and molecular space-time bar and the star-galaxy- galaxy cluster space-time realm. I try to visualize the placements within space and the relations between celestial bodies as between the emerging fingers of the new born embryo.

All my recent art is influenced from the ancient saying:

As above so below

Have magic in your life

Ted barr     – www.tedpaintings.com +972505202060

from the deep space series created by Ted Barr on 2009

one of 12 quasars paintings