Behind the Scenes of “Whats Love Got To Do With It”

maurice-goldberg-creative-artist-change-maker-blog-1-.jpgBehind the scenes 

I’m in the final stages of preparation for Wednesday’s opening and wanted to share a few insight pics of the exhibition and reflect upon the work of the past year.

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Here I am in a new exciting phase of life, about to share my  creativity in my very  first exhibition. It made me think that I should share a bit about what’s under the bonnet of What’s Love Got to Do With it, what am I trying to say and how it’s come about.

 

Throughout my pretty adventurous life I’ve realised that at the centre of all my challenges and gifts was love. I’ve loved greatly and been loved intensely but I realised a long time ago that love is not one thing. Society would have us believe it’s romance and kisses and a box of chocolates but love is passionate and savage, suffocating and endearing, obsessive and unconditional. It can be as much a destructive and painful  force as rewarding and kind.

“This exhibition is about identity and the power of love and sexuality to be a transformative…”

The Icons

maurice-goldberg-creative-artist-change-maker-blog-4-.jpgJust over a year ago, I was asked to paint a commissioned work and after a few weeks a theme started to emerge. The couple had been married for 6o years and said they loved each other but so obviously struggled in their relationship. I knew then that I really wanted to explore LOVE and how human’s struggle and delight in its enormity.

I started to draw, from life models, as many different themes as I could imagine of how love played out. I drew iconic figures that expressed splendour, fear, jealousy or regret.

 

I cut my sketches out and I then placed them in scenes where they interacted. There are nearly 300 of these scenes!  And I then chose some of these compositions and started drawing and painting them.

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The Lightmaurice-goldberg-creative-artist-change-maker-blog-9-.jpg

I had an interesting break-through when I started to think of these icons of emotion, in fields of light. Pure light is like pure love. Fill a room with enormously bright white light and we’d see nothing! Similarly, I think fill a life with pure bright love and we’d feel nothing… there would be no contrast. So my paintings explore different fields of broken up light… infinite colours and shades express the potential of the infinite human love experiences.

 

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Objectification… which is more important, our body or our emotions?

In September I had a massive breakthrough! I questioned:

maurice-goldberg-creative-artist-change-maker-blog-6-.jpg“what drove me more in love, the physical or the emotional?”

I decided that I needed to photograph bodies of both men and woman on which I’d project images of people in different emotional states. I projected images of my models and flowers and guns and 100s of paintings I’d been creating for three years.  I then took everything to the computer and spent months creating tapestries that tell stories of love lost and love found… of sexuality expressed and repressed… of gender and power … and of questioning societal norms and expectations.

The result is an exhibition of 12 canvases and 18 limited edition digital images.

maurice-goldberg-creative-artist-change-maker-blog-7-.jpgThe exhibition I’ve created is a rich and saturated abstract world where the human form and human emotions are explored.

The images are beautiful but often confronting as they draw upon the themes of obsession, jealousy, passion, and unconditional love.

I’ve  borrowed styles from classic artists like Matisse but also from contemporary street artists and images from dating app and selfies. I’ve folded together digital photographic and projection techniques, hand collage, and traditional figurative painting.

The Point

I want to question definitions around gender and sexual orientation, explore the core values around marriage and committed love, and identity diversity. But ultimately I want the work to be sensual, lyrical and inspiring.

I hope the viewer will question their own perceptions of love, sexuality, gender and the choices we make in the name of love.

I hope to see you for “What’s Love Got to Do With It”  at the Chrissie Cotter Gallery in Camperdown from the opening night 6pm Wednesday 20 April to Sunday 1 May. I’ll be there every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, so drop in for a coffee, wine and an exploration.

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For more information visit mauricegoldbergart.com

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What’s a Creative Rebel?

I think You are a Creative rebel… Let me explain…

I’m pretty sure the primary goal of a life is to find as much fulfilment as we possibly can.

That’s a big statement… but why not… And I’ve noticed a pattern, and that is, the way to maximise fulfilment is to courageously create the world we desire. In other words, as Aladdin might say,  “set your genies free”.

Well, that’s the game I’m experimenting with and it seems to be working. ( You could say it’s a work in progress… )  Its been a huge, wonderful, struggle, and its taking lots of courage to break through all the reasons why I shouldn’t do what I really desire but I’m thinking that my path to living a successful life is to free my genies.

Over many years I daydreamed what I’d love to create, and one secret dream I kept, even from myself, was to become a professional artist.  But over the past few years I’ve been breaking through and giving it a run for its money.

Its hasn’t been that easy!

MauriceGoldbergBlindfoldWordResponseSmallAnd that was the crunch! I had to allow myself to feel unsafe, I had to stop following the herd and I had to turn my back on what I thought was expected of me. I had to ask myself “am I willing to Rebel against all these conditions that keep me small?  How might it be to embrace my creative rebel ?”

And so the Creative Rebel was born.

So here’s where I’d love to hear from you. ( The best stuff always comes from you. )

I’ve noticed, for many of us, that sticking with what’s safe, what’s expected, and what we know, is the main path. But if I didn’t rebel against all of these I wouldn’t get to experience ( or share ) the real me. By holding back I was blocking my creativity and put the brakes on my authentic contribution, ( and I created lots of friction in my life… friction such as regret, guilt, drama, dislocation, and I was sensing something was missing or something’s lost. )

Have you had similar thoughts or experiences? Love to hear.

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The year of living dangerously …  

 

So here’s the question.  Right up front.  Am I ready to live this year dangerously?

I just returned from an extraordinary, daring, courageous and visually stunning exhibition of Gilbert and George, at Hobart’s outrageous art museum MONA. Wow!  Not to be missed! They took risks that for decades kept them as exiles in London’s art scene.

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by Gilbert and George at MONA, Hobart.

I also intend to see the equally inspiring and daring exhibition of Ai Weiwei at Melbourne’s NGV after watching a documentary about this Chinese, radical dissenter.

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Ai Weiwei’s Bicycles at NGV Melbourne

These artists have rocked the boat in their respective countries over the past decades. Both are at the top of their professions. Both have risked their reputations to cause a positive change in their worlds, and Ai Weiwei has risked more than his reputation. He has risked his life and freedom by creating audacious works that challenge the very heart of China’s leadership.

A year of living dangerously is one in which we do what ever it is we know is our life’s mission, even though we may fear it.  I want to live such a year. So here I formally throw down my glove. I want to take risks with my art and risks in the corporate arena to accelerate sustainable and fulfilling change in both. No one ever said living from our authentic best was easy…. But I’m hoping more rewarding than living a half life.

So I’d love to hear from you.  What is it that you could do that seems dangerous but important?

Here’s the links to the documentary, Never Sorry, by Ai Weiwei.

http://www.aiweiweineversorry.com/

And the blockbuster exhibitions at MONA in Hobart and NGV in Melbourne.

http://www.ngv.vic.gov.au/exhibition/andy-warhol-ai-wei-wei/

https://www.mona.net.au/gilbert-and-george/

Banner Painting is detail of All of Love : Maurice Goldberg

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Hell took me to Heaven.

 

Intro to the Creative Rebel.

I’m the happiest, most motivated and most content I’ve been in a long, long time.

Ive spoken about “doing what you love” for decades! I thought I was. But I was deluded!

In 2008 all hell broke lose in my life. (It really started a year earlier but what’s a year between friends.) The Global Financial Crises rode in like a cyclone , the bank removed support from my businesses and the dominoes of my life collapsed. Down went the business, my home, my investments and eventually my eleven year relationship. Life was a real living hell.

It’s seven years on now and there’s an honesty and wisdom that has been growing. You can’t buy this kind of clarity! What really collapsed wasn’t my life… what really collapsed was my illusion. I thought I was doing what I loved but in reality I was doing the best at trying to be something I’m not. I loved people, solving other’s problems, and doing well but my real creative spirit was being stifled and squeezed out.

Its amazing what can happen when we believe the illusion. For me it took a complete collapse of most of my life, and five or six years of searching (my recovery), to finally come to the realisation that I’m most fulfilled when being creative and contributing from that space! I’ve always been creative in business and I’m told that I see new and innovative ways of doing things in almost everything I do. From business strategies to Cooking an omelette.  But I never quite understood that I contribute the most when bringing my rebellious creativity to people’s lives and their businesses.  And I never understood how I could use my creativity to paint and draw and photograph in ways that would cause people to ask new questions of themselves and experience life changes and shifts in perspective.

So the Hell in my life caused me to find a certain heaven, where I’ve allowed my creative and rebellious genie to have more space and the satisfaction from contributing more of me was a wonderful reward.

Im interested to be part of a conversation, not just a monologue.

Has hell ever taken you to heaven ?

Has embracing your genie , your unique purpose been a struggle, and was it all worth it ?

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4th January 2013. Drawing No. 1

All my life I have been creative.

The idea of me being a talented artist was always a very personal dream that lay extremely well hidden in the shadows of my heart. So much so that after a brief career as an architect I ensconced myself in the world of business, success and money… literally.

Ive been the creator of multiple businesses… many of them very successful, in the fields of financial planning, real estate sales and marketing & events. But i was a collector of art, not a creator of art.

So then came the challenge!

Nearly four years earlier, in the peak of the Global Financial Crisis, just about everything crumbled in my life when our bank pulled the plug on our dreams. A staff of nearly 50 flew in every direction my “career family” was no more and a great hole was left in my life.

I travelled for extended periods and searched for the great answers on happiness, love and work fulfilment  and many insights glowed but nothing shone bright… not till November 2012.

It was then that my friend Paul Macklin suggested that I was a perfect candidate to be his “guinnie pig”… a test case for the transition of his career. He is a very successful corporate trainer who for decades had wanted to paint. So his goal was to transform from traditional trainer to corporate and personal alchemist focusing on creativity as his main tool of trade.

So on the 4th January 2013 I began my apprenticeship.Image

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Creating is my thing

Creating is my thing

on 4th january 2013 i began a challenge… to explore and express my artistic and creative self.
this is my first blindfolded doodle.

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The “My Happiness” generation

 

This really is the uber individualist society. Last night I was at a christmas awards night for a large exercise and health group in Dublin, Ireland. There were the usual glam bods and also lots of Joes and Jans who were ‘getting healthy’ at their end of year celebration, on Guinness and Jameson. It started off very quiet and tame but as the night rolled on the polite chatter turned into a rumble and then an almighty roar. At 10:45 the awards began and of course I thought this will be great to see everyone celebrating their fellow ‘bootcampers’ for breaking through their personal limitations. These guys must have really gone for it to receive these accolades. But no way! The back half of the room had no intention of quietening down, not even when the front half gave them a huge orchestrated “sssssssshhhhhhh”. Not a dint was made in their personal raving and ranting…because this is the age of ‘me’. This morning I ranted myself to my mate about the party and asked where’s the team spirit gone? Where’s the desire to support and celebrate with your mates? And I joked with a Cheshire Cat kind of grin “ there’s no ‘ I ‘ in team”! And Gearoid responded with a shotgun quip, “but there is an ‘m’ and an ‘e'”. And I was stopped dead in my tracks feeling that this is exactly what was happening in this consumerist, hedonistic, me centered age where the chase for personal happiness sits above all else.   This flexing and posturing of “my personal joy” has become so consuming and self centered that they’ve lost the plot. In doing so they’ve lost the key… no, not the key but the whole bunch of keys….to finding this elusive panacea to their pain and the pain in our world. For pursuing their happiness is never going to bring them relief, just as their search for physical perfection is never going to bring them happiness while it remains all about their, personal uber happiness in this uber individualist society.

 

A Preface to The Fourth Quadrant by me

Do you want to be happy? Do you want the good vibes that emanate from that state? Do you, like most people, prefer the good feelings of happiness to the less comfortable feelings you experience when happiness leaves and closes the door behind her? She never stays for ever and you rarely know when she’s going to leave and when she’s going to return again. All happiness’s visits are definitely limited and yet we pursue her as a life mission more than any other mission in our lives. Sometimes she stays a few hours, sometimes a few days and sometimes even a few weeks but she does leave eventually leaving us disappointed and wanting more of this much loved and often taken for granted, friend.

Philosphers, sociologists, and scientists have written about this profoundly human desire as the most powerful and indeed all-possessing force that drives all of our lives. Plato, Socrates and later Aristotle were the first westerners to explore her pull, in great detail and with enormous perception. Some of today’s most influential thinkers still claim that the majority of our understanding of happiness was unfolded by these doyens of truth almost 2,500 years ago and that not until the last 100 years have we taken significant strides forward in our understanding of how it works for individuals and for our societies and how we can have more or less of it in our lives. But even with all the extraordinary scientific and economic strides forward that have happened in the last 50 years there has been no real measurable increase in the happiness of the developed world. After reading many piles of books and reports and experiencing this phenomena in my business and with my clients I clearly believe that until we conquer the re-writing of the DNA of all humans and totally change our politicians and economists perspective on the essential role of happiness in all of our lives, we will not see any major improvement in its presence in our lives. There is actually good evidence now to show that our genes are more responsible for our happiness than any thing else and experiments (with rats) have shown that we can effect a change, at a genetic level, in our happiness ….but this is many years away from being really useful in our lives. We also know now through the extraordinary work of psychologists, sociologists and scientists (especially in the last 40 years) that happiness is measurable and that many of our assumptions about happiness are wrong. Having babies do not make us more happy. Income increases above subsistence do not have much impact, if any, on increasing our happiness. And GDP (the economic measure that nearly all government use to measure the success of a country) is a very poor measure of the happiness and well-being of a nation.

But even if all this extraordinary work does lead to increased happiness across the world there will still be a search for more happiness by every single human on this planet because we are ‘coded’ to do that….searching for happiness. Many have called it the pursuit of Happiness. Its even written into the foundational codes of nations such as the USA’s Declaration of independence as a primary right of all people no matter their creed, race or financial status. And though it is fundamental to human actions the pursuit of happiness is the thing that is of such concern…a pursuit that will never lead to success! We will never arrive at happiness and say I am here, I have arrived at the destination and no longer need to pursue it. So why do we chase this ‘feeling’ as if it were the holy grail… as if it were the end result?

Happiness is a Red Herring! It is the eggs but not the cake. It is the training session but not the game. Its the tool kit but not the job done and completed.

I was Skype-ing with a friend recently in Düsseldorf, Germany. Frank had been very generous with his time in helping me keep on track with some research I was undertaking. And I felt so much like I wanted to support him with anything in return. So I said:

 

 

Me to Frank in Düsseldorf, Germany a Skype conversation

 

Maurice : and how can i help u today?

Frank D.: nice question

Frank D.: don´t know

Frank D.: i am feeling a little blue the last few days

Frank D.: maybe the weather

Frank D.: but i am raising my frequencies

Maurice : i have been researching happiness for the last few weeks

Maurice : the history for the last 2500 yrs

Maurice : and i think its a ‘red herring’

Maurice : we all think that ‘happiness’ is the holy grail but….

Maurice : in fact, since Plato, it has been recognised as the one thing that all humans search for their whole lives

Maurice : and that’s true…I agree!

Maurice : but….i think its a front or a mirage for the real thing that nature/god/consciousness has us doing.

Maurice : what i believe we are really doing is using the energy of the happiness misery pendulum to cause us to create…

Maurice : we create anything from a book (like me) to a relationship or a walk in the park….all creations

Maurice : its the only thing the universe does…..creates

Maurice : and it does it through destruction and creation….that is the same energy as misery and happiness or pain and pleasure. When you stop creating the universe will try happiness first but if you ignore its gift you will then get slapped around a bit and experience some unhappiness or even misery … if you really resist.

Frank D.: right

Maurice : it does what ever it needs to do to get you to create and therefore be part of the evolutionary process.

Maurice : evolution or evolving, is the only thing the universe is interested in!!!!

Frank D.: i totally agree

Maurice : and if u get in the way of evolving yourself u will find unhappiness or misery to kick u into gear. I’m being a little simplistic here and I should therefore add that the more heart connected (or ‘true’ to your authentic self) your creative focus is, the less pain and unhappiness will arise. This is where most people get unstuck! If you are creating to please or placate someone else or if its to “keep up with the Jones’s” then the evolutionary result will be out of sync with the universe! So don’t do that ! Only create from your heart or your truth. As I often say to people …”Stop fighting the Universe!”

Frank D.: ;)right

Maurice : so “raising your frequency” is really a code for u that means…”I will move my energy into creation mode”….”I will move my energy into the heart centred creation mode”

Maurice : into evolution and growth mode for myself and others…the whole world

Maurice : and so the FLOW continues and is then less disturbed and u feel great!

[11:13:15 PM] Frank D.: thnks

[11:13:23 PM] Maurice Goldberg: a pleasure

[11:14:19 PM] Frank D.: i like this kind of filosophy

 

And in a simple way I had communicated with him where my thoughts were that were causing me to write this book. It wasn’t the guts of the book but it gave me the motivation and the drive to share a concise way of looking at how we are all playing the game of life. Lets call it the Happiness Game, instead of how we might choose to play the game of life which I will call the Creators Game. One is a cyclical game full of hope, doubt and yearning. It is played in every waking hour of our lives .It causes us to take on roles, not the Jungian archetypes but a mix of three quite dynamic friends and adversaries. The thing they all have in common is they cant sustain happiness in our lives and they never take us where we really want to go and yet they are the roles we play in the game of life. The goal of this book is to help you understand how you may be playing the game of life so that you can make some different choices and not just feel happier about your life, but more importantly, gain a new sense of alive-nment that is experienced by moving in sync with the fundamental power/energy that drives the whole universe. It is a choice…. to search for happiness or to instead move with less friction and more purpose in sync with the whole of everything…in other words to stop fighting the universe.

 

 

 

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