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Art is long, life is short 

A friend of mine has died. I only found out about it the other day, purely by chance. He died last December. To me, he had been alive all this time. I could envision him painting, dressed in a paint-spattered caftan in front of his easel. What is the nature of death? When does a person cease to exist? For me, Fernando lived on… until the sudden news. If I pretended I never got it, would he still be alive in my world?

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Fernando Ureña Rib (21 March 1951 – 27 December 2013)

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Jorge Luis Borges: The Unending Gift

A painter promised us a picture.

Here in New England, having learned of his death, I felt once again the sadness of recognizing that we are but shapes of a dream. I thought about the man and the picture, both lost.

(Only the gods can make promises, for they are immortal.)

I thought about the place, chosen in advance, where the canvas will not hang.

Later, I thought: if it were there, wouldn’t it in time become one thing more – an object, another of the vanities or habits of the house? Now the picture is limitless, unending, capable of taking any form or colour and bound to none.

In some way, it exists. It will live and grow, like music, and will remain with me to the end. Thank you, Jorge Larco.

(Men can make promises, too, for in a promise there is something that does not die).

 

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Art: Fernando Ureña Rib

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