Sonia Weiss Durga 1929-2008

The Alternate Selves of the Artist

Art can be used to heal a psyche or express parts of that psyche that have no other avenue of expression. Sonia Weiss Durga's art is a good example of this. She was a deep, complex person with many aspects to her being.

 

Sonia Weiss Durga 1929-2008


 

The Alternate Selves of the Artist

 

I Forgot the Jell-O

How many lives do we live now
Sometimes the scenes change
So rapidly
What I believed to be temporary
Quickly solidified into a permanent
Demand

I thought my dopellganger
Was whimsical
Until I attempted to disown her
Then the hinges of her mouth
(rusted with disuse)
Opened to reveal
Young nimble thoughts
That never atrophied
With my muscles

Multiple lives
Multiple loves
One soul
All needing to be knit together
To move into another house


~Sonia Weiss Durga



 

 

I Forgot the Jell-O
 This piece was chosen here because it epitomizes the split between wife/mother and creative genius.


 

 

The Artist and Her Work:


Art can be used to heal a psyche or express parts of that psyche that have no other avenue of expression. Sonia Weiss Durga's art is a good example of this. She was a deep, complex person with many aspects to her being. Much of her life, she chose to live the persona of housewife and mother- lost in a world of laundry, shopping lists and house work. But, in order to do so, she had to suppress deeper, more complicated darker moods and feelings. Yet, these "alternate selves" could not remain buried. As with all of us, that which we repress must come out somewhere.  For Sonia, it was in her Art. She experienced a rift between the role of wife/mother and "un-liberated" woman of her generation (she was born in 1929) and the bohemian artist who craved ensconcing herself in her studio for days on end and allowing all sense of time and "reality" to fade into oblivion...

 

...Seeming eons of time would pass in which Sonia would express her art only in the decor of her home, the way she dressed or put on her make-up, or the way she cooked. Once when she was cooking she stated that the dish needed tomato. When asked why- the response had nothing to do with flavor. The reason was that the dish needed a red accent to look right. She couldn't go through a day or an action without expressing her artistry. Yet, these petty expressions were not enough. Eventually, her Muse would rise within her and demand more meaningful expression. So, she would go off for a time and create; always feeling a pull back to her mundane role as wife/mother/cook.

 Kali - Unchained Goddess

she takes her power
she breaks her bonds
through her Cartier's
her Prada's and her Diors'

she cries her clarion call

~Sonia Weiss Durga

 

 

Kali - Unchained Goddess
This piece shows Sonia's psyche tuned into the collective, and is perhaps an appropriate image for the new year (2009) that we have entered.

 

  In her twilight years, Sonia finally pulled together some of her phenomenal creations and allowed us a glimpse into the soul of the artist. She allowed another of her artistic Muses expression - the written word. Shortly before her death from cancer, she completed her website including poems written to express some of what was in her psyche as she created.

 

 Portrait of a Drowning Man

Do life and dreams intertwine
Do we know when we are not dreaming
Does the dream live the desire
or does desire keep the dream alive
The warp is made of dew drops
And the weft of silver tears
We can stretch the web
Standing aware and powerful
But if netting rips
Confusion reigns
Left bereft
Our tapestry unraveling

~Sonia Weiss Durga

 

 

 

 

  Portrait of a Drowning Man

 

 If you want to explore more of this brilliant artists work, log onto her website at www.durgadreams.com.


Expressions from the Artist

 

 

 

When I Paint
The sifting, shifting, kaleidoscopic memories of my mind
It's difficult to map this maze

Chronology blurs...peoples merge...hands hurt...love
Haunt...children taunt...food demands...there is longing

For home here and there...a sheltering sky beckons...a
Medieval sky haunts...a contemporary meteor waits

and if they all seem to coexist...they do

In the attic of my mind...nothing has cobwebs...nothing ages
Old lives live
Alongside last nights faded dinner

My epic poem is a tapestry with time and tears...dreamt, lived,
Imagined

Transcribed from feeling into form by brush
To leave my story behind

~Sonia Weiss Durga

 

 If you want to explore more of this brilliant artists work, log onto her website at www.durgadreams.com.

 

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