Before I traveled to Europe in 2001, I didn’t appreciate art.
I had more important things to think about (or so I thought.)
But to be honest, I think my problem was that I hadn’t really experienced art. Sure, I lived in Chicagoland and secretly claimed Seurat’s A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, Wood’s American Gothic and Monet’s Haystacks series as my own, but I didn’t get it. And to be honest, I’m still trying to figure out what I do and do not get.
If you haven’t seen the aforementioned masterpieces, visit The Art Institute of Chicago right now.
(If you visit after reading this post, I’d love for you to write a museum minute about your experience. Email me!)
Before my 2001 Europe trip, I didn’t know that I liked Van Gogh’s Sunflowers (in the National Gallery, London.) In fact, I thought that I definitely did not like it. But upon seeing it, I fell in luv. (Yes, luv.) There was something about the texture of the piece that really surprised–and attracted–me.
And, wouldn’t you know it, our camera decided to die right as I was trying to take a photo. The above is an action shot, seconds before my camera said, “no way!” (Another con to being stranded in NYC – no camera battery charger.)
Nevertheless, I fell in love with Starry, Starry Night not because of the subject matter or the colors (although they were a lot more vibrant than I thought) but because of the texture. What a gorgeous moon! I never would have expected to react to the painting as I did.
Here’s a photo my husband took with his phone–it’s not the best photo quality and yeah, I’ve polaroid-ed it like all of the others, but believe me, it’s an amazing (and fun!) painting in person. I actually find it quite playful.
And now, when I see photos of the painting, I don’t see the flat, reproduced image–I see the original.