Friday, June 26, 2009
Jean Michelin ~ Eyes, Hands and Feet
This is certainly the family portrait (Be sure to double click on the image to the right for greater detail). Mother, father, two sons. Amy is writing quite some great stories about them. Let's take a look at them visually. When I first looked at this family, I noticed the eyes. Eight eyes staring not at me but past me into the gallery. And then a closer look at those eyes and all of them but those on the boy on the right had the pink eye. Of course, the effects of conjunctivitis were far more prominent now that the gallery has been painted red. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, color has arrived here at the Portland Art Museum. No longer is each and every wall beige. The first wall to be painted was in the Jubitz Center for Modern and Contemporary Art. In May, when Paul Gauguin's "Garden View, Rouen" was first hung, the wall behind it was painted a very dark grayish color. Now in June, the entire box of crayons has been opened and each of the galleries housing the European collection is a different color. The gallery where Jean Michelin's painting is hanging is now a very intense red. The family's conjunctivitis is picking up that red. My preference would have been for a different red, but color is good.
In addition to eyes, I always check out the hands. Good hands in a painting such as this has always been an indication for me of the skill of the artist. The hands that you can see are all fairly well done, except for perhaps the mother's. But then she's had a hard life so who knows for certain.
Next take a look at the boots the father is wearing. Wonderful detail that reminds me of some of Van Gogh's boots. Both Van Gogh's and Michelin's boots have been many places and done many things. They have their own stories to tell. Close your eyes and you can probably think of a story or two. Be prepared for Amy's next story on Saturday.