Every artist has a muse, irrespective of gender or, indeed, the situation. So many artists and their muses have been eternalised in the books of history – Francis Bacon and George Dyer, Edouard Manet and Victorine Meurent, Pablo Picasso and Dora Maar (one among his six muses), and Salvador Dali and Gala Diakonova to name a few. Their critics believe that the works of these artists depicting, or inspired by, their muses are their best works till date. There is something so special about these people – these muses – that they attain a place in the artists’ heart that nothing else might ever reach. Though the artist is the creator, he attributes it to the muse, the inspiration behind the art.
What no artist realises, is that the muse feels fulfilled as well. As though everything they had done, experienced, seen, has culminated in this point. The artist does not realise that, however short the time, he’s given a special meaning to the existence of the muse. It’s not exactly something that can be put into words. At least, not without sounding extremely cheesy.
Been there, done that. Rather, been there been that. And I can honestly say it is a unique feeling. Being in love is comparatively less fulfilling than being an artist’s muse. It makes you look at yourself in a different light. It makes you feel humbled and yet, it makes you feel on top of the world. The very fact that someone was inspired enough to create an entire piece of art dedicated to you – in form or thought – is a heady feeling.
When my artist told me that he had created something, I was interested – he had always managed to create something beautiful up till now. When he told me that I was the muse for this particular piece, I was flabbergasted. Me, this ordinary human, a muse? I scoffed at the idea. Then I experienced his art, and was rendered speechless. For, while it was undoubtedly a beautiful piece and his talent shone through, I could also clearly make out how he had depicted me in it, which parts of me were special enough to have inspired him. I could see myself the way he saw me. Through that piece I realised that even the parts I didn’t like about myself were enough for him to cast me as a muse. His muse.
My scrambled, haywire thoughts do justice neither to the artist nor to the muse. Maybe someday I’ll be able to marshal my thoughts on this topic into something better, but right now, let me just sit here and experience the magic that is my artist’s music. Unknowingly, over the years, he’s become my muse. I can see traces, chunks and occasionally him, the entire him, in my scribbles – poems and haikus and lengthy essays. I fear, though that I don’t do him justice. There are so many shades to him that I long to capture with my pen, yet the perfect words elude me.
Now though, surrounded by his music, the circle feels complete. Artist…to muse…to artist…and it goes on.