The artist’s name is Albert Gyorgy. He is Romanian, lives in Switzerland and is semi-reclusive, or at least, it is very difficult to get much information on him. For me, his sculptures from his 2013-14 period are some of the most emotionally evocative experiences I have ever had with a work of art. Two are notable, “The Prodigal Son” and “Melancholy” (pictured above).
An artist transfers their experience through their medium. Their passions, pains, joys, and sorrows as well as their unique vision of life, or a moment in time is translated not just in the end result but in the process of creation. All art is personal in some degree and Gyorgy’s art is so personal it seems almost embarrassingly so.
Certain things cannot be faked. They cannot be acted. They might be copied but the original, the unfaked, the real, stands up above and purer, more powerful than any re-enactment. Gyorgy’s wife died and he pours his loss and longing and emptiness into a work of copper and tin—a bronze sculpture in a way that instantly connects with those who have had similar experiences of lost love or estrangement from those whose lives were once entwined with ours.
A couple of weeks ago, when I first saw this sculpture as it somehow went viral on the internet, it was all I could do to keep from bursting into tears. Maybe it was the couple I know who is desperately lost in financial, emotional and family patterns of destruction. Maybe it was another couple I know who has bought into the cultural zeitgiest of “happiness” at the price of their marriage. Maybe it was the couple I know who just lost a child just months before birth. Maybe it was just my vicarious pain for a father who has lost the love of his children and is depressed at his powerlessness in affecting any reconciliation or even expression of love from them.
I saw Gyorgy’s sculpture and it seemed to captured everything that each of these friends were feeling. It captured what I have felt on ocassion and what you have felt and will feel again. Life is hard, not just sometimes, but a lot of times. We suffer and we don’t know why and we ask, “why me?” and “why me, Lord?”.
I don’t know.
I do know that God is not unaware of our pain and sorrow and loss. And I know that the gospel of Jesus Christ is a sure hope in the midst of the sorrow.