This year, for the first time in the Heart’s Home USA history, we have created and delivered a Compassion Award to celebrate people whose work renders our culture more human.
To explain why we chose Sean Scully as the first recipient, Father Paul Anel (Heart’s Home USA Art Director) addressed the attendees with these words:
The very first time I saw one of Sean’s paintings, I thought to myself: someone who’s able to make a grid more human and expressive than many faces is definitely someone I should meet. A few months later, I ran into one of Sean’s assistants, but he told me: “You know, Sean lives pretty much like a monk, he doesn’t allow his contact to be spread out.” Well, I kept investigating. I met another artist who had worked with Sean, and he made exactly the same reply: “I’m sorry, but he leads quite a monastic life, I can’t give you his contact.” As you might guess, this rather excited my desire to meet him.
Then I happened to see the facade of his NY studio in a documentary. I immediately logged on to Google street view, found the studio, went there and left a mail in the door slot, praying it would be well received. The next morning I got a very kind email from Sean, inviting me to come to his studio.
We met a few days later, and Sean ended up making up more questions about Heart’s Home than I did about his work! “You and I, he ended up saying, we do exactly the same thing.” I remember you showing me the pictures of the 100 children you sponsor in South America and Asia. You seemed to have for them the same fatherly love you have for your son Oisin.
It’s the same love you pour in your paintings, layers and layers of love. I lack words and time to express, not only my admiration, but my gratitude for your work. Re-humanizing abstraction you give its heart back to a vocabulary that new generations of artists will be able to learn. Thus, art will fulfill its mission to open windows of hope in our struggling world.
That is why I believe you fully deserve to be the first recipient of our Compassion Award.