Like almost no other event in memory, the COVID-19 pandemic has painted our world with a very dark brush. While there finally seems to be light at the end of the medical tunnel coming from the science quarter, during our most troubling hours, what many people sought for comfort was art.
Whether in the form of visual images or music, dance or poetry, the vivid power of art to lift us out of the moment and lift us out of despair is a reminder that hope endures.
Unfortunately, as essential as art is to the soul, with money spread between food, rent, and other must-haves during closing, for many former patrons, being able to buy art is no longer part of the equation.
Earning a living as an artistic artist is rarely easy at the best of times. As pandemic restrictions tightened their grip, closed galleries and closed regular shows, for many, it became nearly impossible.
The realization that so many creative people were struggling was the catalyst that prompted New York-based painter Guy Stanley Philoche, whose own abstract canvases can cost more than $ 100,000 each, to launch an individual crusade in support of his fellow artists.
“The art world is my community and I needed to help my community,” said Philoche. CNN. “People say New York is dead, but it is far from it. There is an artist somewhere writing the next big album. There is a boy right now in his studio painting the next Mona Lisa. There is probably a dancer right now choreographing the next epic ballet. People forgot about the artists in these industries. “
In March, Philoche posted a greeting on Instagram to artists around the world asking them to submit images of their work. Since then, he has spent around $ 65,000 and purchased over 150 unique works of art from both friends and strangers. His only criterion is that art speaks to him.
Philoche and his family came to the United States when he was 3 years old. Like many immigrants, he says he learned to speak English by watching television.
He was also inspired at a young age to draw pictures of his favorite Disney characters. From those early efforts was born his fascination for art that would one day become his career.
It took Piloche decades to achieve success, yet now that he’s arrived, the 43-year-old feels honor bound to pay off his good fortune. “Art saved my life,” he said. “I have a debt that I could never pay, but the only way to pay it is by buying other works of art from someone who hasn’t had a great opportunity yet. And that’s what I’m going to keep doing. “
Vincent Van Gogh once observed: “There is nothing more truly artistic than loving people.”
While Philoche favors the abstract style for his paintings, the tangible expressions of support he offers to his fellow artists shine through from a perspective that is astonishingly real and may well be his true masterpiece.
Featured Image: Philoche Studios
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