Tuesday, April 7, 2009
I was standing with the Aquaduct, fairly close to it, writing about it, when I began a line about the figure's bare feet. So I got closer and saw that the feet aren't bare at all, they have tiny red shoes on, red like dried blood. Almost black. Why, I wondered, did I think the person would be barefoot? I suppose I assumed it was a made up place, a made up person, a made up wall. In made up places I go barefoot. But this is a real person and probably a real wall. Nothing really all that mysterious about it.
The realization of the red shoes excited me, like a secret. I suddenly knew something I didn't know a moment before and that I felt fairly confident a lot of other people who have looked at this piece didn't know.
This speaks to the sense of ownership we feel about art after we spend a length of time with it. When we see it change when the light changes. When our mood directs us to understand things about it that we didn't see when we were in a different head space. The art keeps opening to us and we feel more and more like it belongs to us, not just as an object of some value monetarily, but as a kindred spirit.
It acts as a placeholder in our memories. A painting that hung on my bedroom wall as a child now hangs on the wall of my niece. It marks a period of time in my life, like a box of letters would.
The docent art show at the church across from the museum opened yesterday. The range of mediums, subject matter and style is impressive. It is the first time I have been surrounded by artwork of people I know so that I am not guessing what the artist is like, I am interpreting the art through the person I already know, and thereby deepening both the bond I feel with them as well as a deeper appreciation of the work.