June 4, 2023

By Arthur H. Gunther III


     There is every coincidence in life, whether by the gods, by seemingly directed unconscious thoughts, perhaps just by the mere of it all. But it happens.

     You are reading a story about, say, a new dam in 1930s’ Colorado, and that very night the classic movies channel has a movie showing an effort to blow-up Nazi-held dams during World War II.

     Or, romantically, the serendipity of a moment where you are thinking of someone, and, lo and behold, you bump into that person. Adds to the whatever, that.

     This week I finished the fourth or so in a series of abstracted paintings, which is where my voice seems to be coming from these says. In such abstraction, the elements are spare and elemental, really the line, form, color that others might use to paint a more “complete” work. But for me, at this juncture, the abstraction is enough. 

     The piece I did, “Manhattan Diversity,” which appears with this essay, was an attempt to show 1950s’ painter Mark Rothko’s technique of blending colors, only I set that in between silhouetted New York City skyscrapers. The colors reflect the great ethnic, religious, economic and gender diversity of the city.

     However, since the work appears during the current Pride Month, the national celebration of LGBTQ+ individuals and community, some saw it as a piece deliberately painted for that.

     While it was not, the coincidence of “Manhattan Diversity,” its colors, even its title, make it a fit. And I am humbled that it is so.

     This artist, this human being, is a firm supporter of the LGBTQ+ community, actually of every human being. Good God, there is so much wonderful diversity out there.

     Every painting, each line, form, color, is made up of diversity, one speck of each element combining to create the whole.

     What a blessing it is to see those specks come together, whether in painting or life. Coincidence? No.

     The writer is a retired newspaperman. ahgunther@yahoo.com