What Gives You The Sparks?

Installation view Mark Rothko

What is this! My slow solo walk through the big rooms of Tate Modern suddenly came to a halt. I held my breath. No movement. Just a little tremble on the inside.

A huge red canvas dominated the entire room. Radiant colors. Deep red on another red. Vague at the edges. I let it all in.

“Mark Rothko, Number…,” read the little white label next to the painting. I was fifteen years old and had never heard his name before. But something within me got touched. I knew I had to stay where I was. Me and the painting.

I did stay. Sensation all over my body. Tingling arms and legs. I didn’t recognize the feeling but it felt so good! Like meeting a stranger and recognizing something about myself in the eyes of the other. Deeply human and utterly divine at the same time.

What gives you the sparks? Would love to hear your story.