Scrolling down my Facebook news feed, I saw JR posted a picture of him and Varda with the caption ‘’For my shooting star, wherever you are’’. I knew in that moment that she had passed. As I tried to verify my assumption about Agnès, I felt tears welling up in my eyes. To be honest, I did not know I liked her that much. But something about her dying broke my heart.
The most heartbreaking thing, when an artist dies, is probably not the death itself but the fact that there will be no more art being produced by that artist. The person has died and so to say, the source of her art is dead.
I was quite upset hearing of her death and every time I saw a picture of her, I felt the need to sob uncontrollably.
Then something happened.
I was following JR working on his project at the Lourve. The project looked spectacular when it was finished.
But the very next day, the paper that had been pasted was being torn. Some by people who come to visit the magnificent project , some because of people walking all over the paper, wind, etc. At first, I did not understand why people were allowed to take off the pieces. This is the work of a large number of volunteers who had put their soul into the project. What did it come down to? Being stripped off by other people?
Then I heard JR say that he was used to his work being torn or damaged by sun, wind or water. But the art will live on. He wanted his art to be alive. Even though the beautiful piece of art was damaged, it will still live on in memory.
Because, it is true, art never dies.
And it helped me make my piece with Agnès’s death.
The art she created throughout her life has touched me and many others like me. She touched me, without ever meeting me, through her art. And because she did, even if she no longer exists, her art will always live on in my memory.
This is for you, Agnès Varda. Thank you for your art.