Since he first opened an architecture studio in 1964,

The Pierre Boulez Saal Concert Hall, Berlin, Germany (photo in public domain)

has created a profound sense of beauty and energy, wrapped around utilitarian structures.
He expounds a free expressive form with out of the box thinking and boldness. His approach is influenced by his emotional reactions to the visual experience which he communicates in a simple, straightforward, and unpretentious way. His industrial raw style and childlike curiosity allows him to challenge the complicated world. To me his buildings are like large ink brush Chinese calligraphy.
“I came from a poor background, I was a truck driver as a kid. I tried to figure ways to make the architecture industrial raw design. I don’t like expensive things. When I design stuff I don’t add on every single detail, it is up to graduate assistants to do it. Not like Frank Lloyd Wright (etc.), designing everything like a straitjacket …. I build a container, everybody brings in something to fit in the container… It is the detail of content and the scale of it; it is like building Jiu Jitsu blocks, you use its proportion as your advantage.”
For Gehry art is the result of conflict and for hearts to rest and enjoy the result. Maricich asked Gehry what stood out in his life; he began with the remarkable scales of his building design, then jumped into a story of how he made a design last year for The Pierre Boulez Saal Concert Hall, located at a school that trains young Middle Eastern musicians, uniting Arabs and Israelis through music, in the heart of Berlin, Germany. Gehry said after listening to a concert, young musicians from Israel were asking if he would be the designer for their new music hall, turning a warehouse into a music building.
”Everybody is different and every career will be slightly different. I think the most important is to be yourself. In my teaching, I quite often in my first class tell my students to write their signatures. I put them on the table to show that they’re all different. So I said you see the difference? That is how you are different. I don’t guarantee it will work out, but you will have lots of satisfaction by finding yourself.”
Gehry is a person being creative beyond something he could ever imagine – and almost obsessive in his quest towards a goal to reach the unreachable – the coalescence of art and life into architecture.

Lili Lihting

Volume 33 no 4 March / April 2019

4 thoughts on ““Making art is … making love to the world.”

  1. “I think the most important is to be yourself. ” Gehry, on the other hand, is a very special self, especially since he was a truck driver who became a world architect. The guy’s a genius, I’m jealous; I was always intimidated by architecture. Then Gehry says there’s a lot of satisfaction in finding yourself. I listen to this truck driver architect and him I believe. My own instincts lead me to think life’s about finding yourself, that’s when you do your best work. And the same thing’s in the I CHING, the Book of Changes, one of the five Classics of Confucian thought. Follow your inner voice, no matter what the cost.

    1. What a powerful message you wrote in your comment. The problem is that technology is covering up this inner voice, meaning that many people will never find it, since their “ears” are only listening to social media or to their video games. I wonder if people under thirty even read anymore, though maybe someone will design an inspiring video game of I Ching with nice, artistic images.

    2. Hi Miklos,
      In olden times people used to call the inner voice the voice of God.
      Today we have the external voice of Amazon Alexa; she helps us find not only ourselves but everything there is to find out about the world – everything. And just like God once knew, she knows everything about us too.

  2. Well done New Art Examiner with this article on Gehry’s work! Why doesn’t your magazine have more articles on some of the oldies out there before they die? They’re the ones who have the knowledge and wisdom we are looking for – elements which are totally lacking in today’s art scene, rather there is a total absence of thinking, of any sort of philosophy.

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