Tag Archive | painting

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




a Sperm with shadows


It takes 230 million years for the Sun to complete its orbit around Sagittarius A which is a black hole in the central area of the Milky way galaxy in this time the light radiated from the Sun would travel more than 1400000000 billion miles. Concerning human dimensions it’s not possible to grasp, but in universal dimensions it’s almost unnoticeable. Human life is designed to last for about 100 years so all time related figures are associated to this limited span of time, if human life would last 10000 years all our life perception would be totally different. Modern life is designed to immediate response everything has to be done quickly, now or never like there is no tomorrow. Imagine a 10000 years life span, planning the next year would be like planning your afternoon.

Another dimension that determine our perception of life is the physical body, human beings can cope with a mile or 30000 miles but when astronomical dimensions are brought in mind it’s impossible to digest it, the Sun is about 70000 light years away from the center of the galaxy it is about 420000000 billion miles, the distances between galaxies are much larger, our closest neighbor the Andromeda galaxy is about 2.5 million light years away, there are galaxies 13 billion light years far from us, it’s not in the human scale.

From the elementary particles that are the fundamental bricks of all that exist it’s the same story from the other end of the dimension bar, the electron- proton proportion equals the Sun-Milky galaxy proportions.

The biggest universal structures are too big and the elementary particles are too small for human comprehension, from that understanding stems the fact that human being perception is extremely limited. Most of the happenings in our universe we don t see, most of the sounds we don t hear, most of the smells we are not tuned enough to recognize and most of the building elements of our world are beyond our immediate measures.

This understanding calls for certain kind of humility.

The only thing that is not bounded by physical measurements is our thoughts that can reach the other side of the universe in much greater speed than light, those thoughts have to be coordinated with our physical deficiencies, so the light of human life stems from darkness. The freedom of spiritual development is originated in the prison cell of the mortal body and the immortal human essence should form a continuous path of refinement that is mind based rather than body worship.

The physical body lives till the end of the skin, human thought lives till the end of the universe.

Have magic in your life

Ted Barr, New Jersey, November 2011