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Student catches a glimpse of love at on-campus art gallery

By Elisabeth Turner, Columnist

I think we can all agree that as humans, love remains an essential component to our happiness and well-being. We may not want to admit it, or care to let our hearts shine and make known this need for love known, but amidst our busy schedules, the need remains. Like an open wound without a covering, hidden beneath a winter sweater, the abstract void lies buried underneath our ego, our accomplishments, and our seemingly ‘put togetherness' persona.

Several weeks ago, I visited Hofstra's Emily Lowe Gallery, where Burton Silverman's paintings are on exhibit until Dec. 16.  Once I stepped into the gallery and looked around, I became aware of Silverman's keen ability to depict typical, everyday scenes and render them into poignant, beautiful images. I was struck by how real each portrait looked; the lines of age on the woman's face in "Backstage" unabashedly conveyed a satisfied weariness, while the plump, slightly upturned lips of the young woman in "Triptych" immediately transported me to her state of mind, putting me in contact with the challenge and seduction of her firmly held gaze. Each painting purported a passion, although different in field of content, similar in intensity of sentiment and heart.

Every picture was based on a real person, on an authentic piece of humanity that Silverman had experienced and wanted to capture for others to enjoy. To me, it is this passion, this zest and love of life that Silverman refers to in a quote listed on his website; it is in the "human face, where . . .the love affair has not faltered."

The love affair – ah yes, there it is. As humans, we are born with the need to be loved. As children, we are supposed to be provided with the strong and perfect love of our parents, which is sadly more often than not, absent. As adolescents, that love, or lack thereof, seems to somehow become obsolete. Instead, a hunger for a romantic love begins to dominate. By the time we have reached the brink of adulthood, we realize that much of our ‘love' was only childish projections and immature feelings. For a while, we think that all we need is love. We imagine the only thing capable of satisfying our desires is an intense romantic affair, an affair we falsely believe to be the definition of love.

I have also fallen prey to the same illusion. Dreaming of warm summer days spent with a wonderful someone to catch waves, walk the boardwalk beneath starry skies and simply be young, dumb, and in love with. But, in the midst of my subconscious longing, I realized love is a ubiquitous sentiment.  

Love is never lost, never in need of being found. It is, here at Hofstra in the smile of an acquaintance, the glowing acceptance in the eyes of a suitemate, or the encouragement from a professor. Love is not merely a profound and tender passion for another person; it is the freedom to be who you are.

Silverman's paintings capture the different occurences of love.  Sometimes we look in the wrong places, but we at other times, we get lucky. As Hofstra students, take a walk over to Lowe Hall when you can and taste what is the beginning of this eternal sentiment.

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