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Age Never Mattered

 

New York is 3 hours ahead of California, but it does not make California slow. Barack Obama retired in his 50s while Donald Trump took office in his 70s. Someone somewhere graduated at 22 and waited for up to 7 years to secure a job, while someone else graduated at 30 and got a job immediately. Some became CEOs at 25 and died at 50 while others became CEOs at 50 and died at 90. The point is, everyone in this world works based on their time zone. Some may seem to be ahead of you and others may seem to be way too slow, but at the end of it all, we are all running our own race and in our own time. It is never too late to begin making great steps in life: getting your first degree at 21 is a beautiful achievement, being married at 30 is still possible, and buying a house at 45 is still a boss move. The key word behind all these is timelines and of course the effort.

Photo Courtesy of Patrick Dandy (White Cube)

Akiane Kramarik an American poet and also an artist born in 1994, started drawing at the tender age of four and has passionately drawn till today and has even won an award. One painter Etel Adnan on the other hand, took off her artistic career while in her 80s. It might look too late to begin a career because the norm is always to “get started early, get your career rolling early and nurture it early”. Adnan beat the odds and decided to get it done despite the age..

Born in 1925, a Lebanese American, Adnan grew up during the early years of World War II. Her mind was exposed to the ideas of colonialism and cultural differences. At the age of fifteen, she was pulled out of school by her mother to work. She joined other young women who took up odd jobs in order to support their families and help offset skyrocketing prices. Adnan engaged in revolutionary writing having been influenced by the kind of environment she grew up in; the harsh realities she engaged with every day.

Photo Courtesy of George Darrell (White Cube)

Being a poet was what she is well known for but besides that, Adnan is a painter. She began painting in 1958 having been influenced by Ann O’Hanlon. Her work however never really made it to the lime light, until in the past few years when she began exhibiting with different galleries. Over the years, she has made small scale paintings of mountains, skies while incorporating color. She loved color; she still does and is still interested by the “immediate beauty of color.”

Photo Courtesy of George Darrell (White Cube)

She creates her paintings (mostly on landscapes) with a palette knife, shaping vibrant fields of colors on small, intimate canvases. She believes that with a palette knife you just wipe off the paint and carry on unlike with a paint brush which you have to wash thoroughly. Her paintings find their roots in the geographies the artist has navigated throughout her life, most notably her native Lebanon and adopted home of northern California. In 2012, (at the age of 87) a series of her colored abstract paintings were exhibited as part of documenta 13 in Kassel, Germany.

Photo Courtesy of George Darrell ( White Cube)

At the age of 93, Adnan has already exhibited with so many galleries and her name is a “big deal” in the art industry; mainly because she is still in the game despite her old age, creating artworks and definitely inspiring young artists. In this year, she has shown her works in three solo shows and two group shows. She is the best description of inspiration especially to young artists.

Adnan was very much on time when she took off her art career, we all are on time, so long as in the end we are willing to make it happen.

Photo Courtesy of Samuel Kirszenbaum

 

About Esther Wambui

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