Friday, February 6, 2009

Docent Training

I'm in docent training. Dan is in my class. One day, a few weeks into training I saw him on a sidewalk and he gave me a cigarette. When I saw him in class the following week I said "I'll sit in the back of the bus with you."
The first gallery we studied was the CMCA, Contemporary and Modern. For our first assignment I chose to research Eugene Berman, the surrealist, because two weeks before that I had taken my brother and husband through and it had caught our attention. But this isn't Eugene Berman week, I digress.
Anyway, Dan chose the Kline. Which hadn't done anything for me up to that point. Up until then I pretty much didn't look at it. It seemed like a mess, but not my mess. We had never presented anything for each other before. Dan made a lot of wise cracks from the back of the room, but that was about all the talking he did. He didn't ask any questions because he already knew all the answers.
When it was his turn he walked right up to the Kline and he started swinging his arms around "This is all masculine energy." he said loudly and triumphantly. He pantomimed the making of it. He smiled his Dan smile and talked about Kline and his motivation and his movements and expression, and suddenly that painting meant something to me. Suddenly it had life. That's what art is, if you talk about it and share yourself with it, it makes you more alive. If it makes someone else excited, it excites me too.
Yesterday I walked through the special exhibit, Madame Du Pompadour. There is a Fragonard downstairs that moves like Baroque music. It transported me to Italy. But not until I stood before it with a French Philosophy professor who opened the door for me. She told me what she heard and how the painting moved and there I was, right there with her, where only moments ago I had been in the dark.

1 comment:

Daniel said...

Wow you really make me sound like a tool. Just for the record: 1) I'm sure there was some excellent and docently gardenhouse questions that lead up to the masculine energy comment and 2) I can't sit at the back of the bus, it gives me motion sickness.