The Daily Artist: The Daily Artist: "Art and the Human Experience: Celebrating the Good and the Bad"

The Daily Artist: "Art and the Human Experience: Celebrating the Good and the Bad"

Featured Art Piece: "You Say Hello" Watercolor on Paper\

I'll never forget the first time I met my ex-girlfriend’s uncle Mike. I met him and shook his hand. It was like shaking hands with a cloud. Strange as it may sound, it suited him perfectly.

We all went out for lunch that day, Mike, his mom, my ex and me. The lunch lasted a significant time, easily stretching out for an hour. Surprisingly, Mike only said one thing throughout the entire meal, and that was, "Santa Fe Chicken." That’s what he had for lunch. I loved him.

Mike was a self-proclaimed hippie. Not in the sense that he handed everyone flowers. It was just something about his demeanor that exuded zen and tranquility. The omnipresent bandana on his head cued anyone in though. I always had a deep fondness for him. Sadly, he passed away in his early 50s, and it felt so sudden and unfair. To this day, I still carry that feeling within me.

His funeral was a somber affair, as funerals often are. We listened to a few heartfelt stories about this extraordinary soul, and then it was time to conclude the ceremony at the funeral home. I had to leave immediately afterward because of a work commitment I had in Houston.

As the ceremony reached its end, a song chosen by Mike began to play, piercing through the heavy silence. It was "Hello, Goodbye" by the Beatles. It was a heavy moment to experience before my drive back to Houston. Tears welled up in my eyes throughout the journey.

My mom and brother were helping me with the photography gig I had to get to. We were riding up the elevator and my brothers asked, “are you ok?” I said, “No.” The doors opened and mustered up a smile and got the job done.

Through the years, I’ve gotten a lot of weird comments when pieces aren’t happy or funny, which is what I like to make the most. I’ve learned that It’ s okay to ignore that commentary, and It’s okay to create art that captures the melancholy, the anger, and the range of emotions that life throws at me and not feel weird about it. We all experience the various effects that come with being human—both the good and the bad.

So, while my usual artistic inclination leans toward painting happier subjects, I've come to accept that sometimes the sad stuff just pops up. And that's alright. Every aspect of our experiences is important to remember and reflect upon. Whether it's joy or sorrow, anger or contentment, each emotion shapes us and reminds us of our shared human existence.

-Sergio Santos