Have you ever felt like your life was a Jasper Johns painting; colorful and chaotic, beautiful and difficult to look away?
A wonderfully created portrait, comprised of layers of individual meaning and complexity, intertwined with the whole of all layers, creating a complex work completely individual from all the pieces that create it?
Or do you relate more to the works of a Salvador Dali, imaginative, dark and brilliant? A study in fantasy and depth that is not restrained by the normal.
Others may believe they are more like Monet; a view of natural beauty from afar, but a complex and intricate portrait when studied up close that resembles nothing of the whole.
Still many more may see themselves as a Jackson Pollock painting. Chaotic and formless, no two alike and completely devoid of structure. But in that is a brilliant view of uniqueness and color that sets each and everyone apart.
Me either, I was just wondering.
Actually, the reason I bring up some of my favorite artists because they all have one thing in common. This one common thread proves as well as anything the complexity and beauty that can lie within the mind of man and given proper tools and ability, that beauty can flow forth for all to see.
This thread ... they are males.
It is as easy as that, and believe me, I looked for other similarities. Outside the fact that both Dali and Johns enjoyed Mexican food, I could find no others. (A disclaimer ... I do not actually know that these men enjoyed this style of food. I made that up.)
I, a male, have always enjoyed art and painting. I am not very talented at it, but I really enjoy the mastery of those who can. I am an avid fan of Dali, owning several books about him and his work.
But thinking this week about what this column is going to be, I realized that over the course of this little series of columns, I have shown how men can be confusing, gross and otherwise, pretty basic.
There is, however, beauty and intense complexity that lies in all of us and it can be proved simply through the works of these four men, who are all very different in their work, but similar in that they create amazement.
Take Pollock and Johns. They are from a similar time (with Pollock dying in 1956 and Johns beginning his work in the '50s) but their work is so unique from anyone else.
Johns painted flags, maps of the United States, used bright vibrant colors in many and also painted numbers.
Pollock painted ... he painted. He used a pouring technique and dripped paint, no forms or faces.
But in both there is such a deep complexity to their work. Both, at times, create a sense of disorder that comes together in to form beauty.
What makes art come to life and makes it great comes from the person who created it, and if you need proof to understand and believe that there is beauty and complexity inside the male mind, look at these works.
Dali created a landscape of artwork that 99 percent of the population would never dream of. His ''surrealist'' paintings are imaginative and different without the worries and constraints of the ''real world'' and what was possible.
(A quick aside - the word ''surreal'' is the most overused word in America today. Winning a dance competition ... not surreal. A three-armed talking monkey juggling the moon ... surreal.)
I know, the idea of men and beauty in any form is not macho, but I would dare to say that most males are not macho.
Some paint, some garden, some write, some build, some design, some sing and others do so much more, but through this outlet of expression and creation, the male brings forth beauty.
Now, please don't read this as ''men create art and therefore art is male.'' I understand that there are and have been many wonderful female artists, but for the sake of this article, I'm focusing on the guys.
The point of all this, other than to indulge my love of art, is that males may not see the same beauty that females see, but there is that appreciation deep inside us all. We may not like to show that we find the world around us fascinating and beautiful, but we can see it and appreciate it.
So, go out, everyone, and enjoy any of the museums or galleries this area and northern Ohio has to offer and look around to how many guys are in there, looking and loving what they see.