RED- I saw the play "Red" last night at the Royal MB Theatre Centre in Winnipeg, second last night of the play and i had to see it. I felt for some weeks that there was some reason that i had to go---and in retrospect i'm glad that i did. The story follows a moment in time of the famous and self-taught American abstract artist Mark Rothko (1903-1970) and the dialogue he has about art and life with his assistant Ken. Beautifully played by actor Oliver Becker the play takes place in the artists studio during a time in 1958 when the Seagrams company completed their corporate HQ and commissioned him to make some paintings for the buildings luxury restaurant the Four Seasons. Rothko was uneasy about making the paintings for the enjoyment of wealthy diners- people who may not 'see' or even try to make an attempt to connect to work he felt transcended the mundane. As a visual artist i could totally relate. The writing was clever and astute zeroing in many of the philosophical aspects of making art that changes or otherwise impacts people's psyche. The play was a demonstration of Rothko's ego and his integrity, his ambition but also his authentic nature playing out.
"If our titles recall the known myths of antiquity, we have used them again because they are the eternal symbols upon which we must fall back to express basic psychological ideas." Mark Rothko