I painted “A Broken Man” about a month ago. At the time I painted it, I didn’t really understand where it came from. It was one of those surreal moments where I was painting without thinking and then all of a sudden it was just there. I can’t speak for all artists but when I paint I almost go into a sort of trance, where hours seem like minutes. Then I take a step back and shock myself with what I've created.
As I look at this painting more and more I’ve come to develop an intimate relationship with it. I’ve pieced together my subconscious with recent events in my life and it all makes sense.
Like most people life has beat me up a bit. Relationships have not been kind to me and I assumed, like most people assume, that I was the broken one. And then something interesting happened...
Someone from my far away past found his way back into my life, whom at the time I had very strong feelings for. When this relationship ended, it ended in a very terrible way that ripped through my heart. It took me a long time to feel whole again. Over time those feelings faded and the recent contact was more of an apology for being an ass rather than any sort of hope of rekindling or reviving something that was lost.
Through our brief conversations I came to the realization that this man has been broken his whole life. It is very clear to me that he is still broken. Then I further realized that in the few somewhat longer relationships that I have had I have always been with men who are severely broken in some way; mentally unstable, emotionally unstable, and/ or socially awkward. I now think that it was because I thought I was broken and that we could be broken together, which is in itself is a very destructive way to begin a relationship.
Most recently I started dating someone who said to me something to the affect of, maybe instead of thinking of yourself as being strange for having been in relationships that haven’t worked out, perhaps you could instead think of yourself as being strong for being able to walk away when you figured out that you weren’t right for each other. It was a really nice thing to hear from someone who is relatively a stranger.
A broken man needs to heal himself before he can share his life with someone else. (Perhaps that is what my past man is trying to do.) And perhaps at one time I was a broken woman but I haven’t been for a long time and this painting has helped me to realize that. Woah, mind blown!
Now that I’ve figured out what the hell this painting means, I’m ready to let it go!
Please feel free to contact me directly through my website if you are interested. www.danielamilinkovich.com
Stories about how art inspires and changes us.