It is hard to talk about negative feelings anger, disgust, fear, but the feelings I find most difficult to stomach are grief and sadness. The experience of emotions is relative to each person. These feelings manifest themselves in many forms, each with unique meaning to individual people. Sometimes these feelings are impossible to describe in words alone, so we rely on art to convey these feelings for us. Artist Albert Gyorgy has captured the raw emptiness that sadness can create in one simple sculpture called, “Melancholy.”
The statue does not need anyone to speak for it. The feeling that it invokes is as clear as day. The figure’s head is sunken down and its arms crossed in an attempt to comfort the void in its chest. Its feet are solemnly spread with its shoulders slumped. Nearly the entirety of the statue has bits that are torn away, showing the physical equivalent of the emotional turmoil. Every element in this sculpture screams sadness, grief, emptiness. The statue towers over your average height adult commanding the attention of all who gaze upon it. Not only can one look upon it’s craftmanship but one can also sit next to it, sharing not only the bench but also sharing its feelings.
This sculpture truly has an impact, elegantly displaying a negative emotion so powerfully. Growing up, my family valued positive emotions more than most. The joy of having a roof over your head, the happiness of having a working mind, and the privilege of sleeping with a full belly were constant reminders that I shouldn’t dwell on being sad. This philosophy created a stable environment for me at first but eventually I was unable to find a healthy way to cope when I was sad.
For a long time, I thought that being sad was a bad thing and it was something that I had no right to experience. I realized now that I was wrong. Just like this statue, sadness can be beautiful and is something that everyone should and will experience. It is a part of life and should be felt in its entirety. Sadness is what makes us human. We grieve, we cry, and we comfort our own emptiness. Albert Gyorgy expressed his sadness in this statue and created art with his pain. Through his sadness, I was inspired and enlightened. Perhaps from his example, more of us can see and embrace the beauty that can come from such negative emotions. Maybe then, they wouldn’t be so negative after all.