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happy birthday balthus

Post #224 • February 29, 2004, 6:26 PM

Balthus would have been 96 years old today. Or, rather, 24.

Rilke maintained that I must accept this magic a priori, this entry into the marvelous world of painting, in profound areas where light is found. I was born on February 29, so my birthday can only be celebrated every four years. I'm pleased by this calendar oddity, created by the movement of the stars. I've always noted it with a grain of irony, like a mark of strangeness. Rilke wrote to me when I was fifteen years old:
This discreet brithday that most often dwells in a form of the beyond, certainly gives you rights over many unknown things here below. My dear B., I wish that you may be able to introduce some people on our earth to growing, despite the difficulties of our unsure seasons.
I've always tried to follow his request, and be faithful to his wishes. My painting has merely to "introduce" some moments, unusual encounters, when my visions of the beyond pierce through.

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