Kandinsky’s Composition 8 might look like a randomly arranged collection of geometrical patterns and colors but to me, it’s as if I’m looking at my own brain. Organized yet divergent and unruly. Kandinsky painted abstract art in order to create an object-free canvas for transcendent response that would connect the viewer with universal, human emotions; so I guess when I look at his work I’m supposed to think “me and everybody else.” Maybe I that’s it.
I love how the trees in Klimt’s Avenue of Schloss Kamer dominate. They are wild and colorful and almost rebellious, as if unwilling to tolerate being lined up in rows and put in a civilized setting. Unexpected purples and blues highlight the gnarled twisting limbs like streaks dyed in hair born brown. Sometimes I feel like I’m sitting there in my assigned row with thoughts as out of the park as Klimt’s trees.
It feels cliche to include Van Gogh’s Starry Night, but I would be dishonest if I didn’t include it. I love its movement and color. It captures the kind of revelatory moment that utterly disturbs the universe yet carries inexplicable peace. Even with flame-like cypress tree looming in the foreground, the way problems seem vie for prominence in life, cannot dispel the awesome, swirling brightness in the heavens above. When I see Starry Night I have to stop what I’m doing a just look.
I’m a fan to sunsets. I like the way buildings and landscapes look like etchings against sunset skies. Monet gets this and in San Giorgio Maggiore at Dusk he throws in reflections in the water for bonus points. Monets remind me of what my world looks like with uncorrected vision. Light and contrast really do become more important when you can’t see the details. Sort like stripping reality down to truth.
I like Salvador Dali’s Persistence of Memory mostly for its droopy clocks. I read somewhere that Dali’s collapsed clocks were supposed to symbolize the passage of time in dreams and that the passage of time is kind of meaningless in dreams. Some say it’s about Einstein’s Theory of Relativity melting time as a stable force. Either I’m dreaming or approach an event horizon because time definitely is accelerating. At least Dali’s are face clocks. With those I can see all of time. With digital I can only see the minute I’m in. Maybe that’s my problem. The rest of my time needs to collapse into the minute I’m in.
I love Leonardo da Vinci’s unfinished piece simply called La Scapigliata or Head of a Woman. I like Leonardo’s drawing more than his painting and I find this piece personal and intimate. The shadowing on her face is so perfect but then her hair is all messy and not even all drawn on. Sometimes the drawing is referred to as Head of a Woman with Tousled Hair. My favorite photos are candid. I find people in casual attire easier to approach than people who are meticulously dressed and coiffed. Entertaining stresses me out because something is inevitably going to get left out (the dirty socks on the bathroom floor, Mexican food with no salsa, or me with mascara on only one eye). I expect the life I leave behind when I exit this world will be an unfinished piece.
My husband and sons bought a lithograph of Marc Chagall’s Jeremiah’s Lamentations for me for Mother’s Day. I’m a fan of Chagall and love his restrained use of color in this one. I’ve always felt really sorry for Jeremiah. I think Chagall does a good job capturing Jeremiah’s dependence on God and his grief about what was going on in his world, showing him curled up, clutching that scroll. Nobody likes to be the one saying things people don’t want to hear. Personally I avoid that. I would hate for my writing assignment to be Lamentations but in the Bible Jeremiah mans up and writes it.
Picasso did a whole series of paintings of guitars. This one is my favorite. I like the shapes and colors Picasso uses. The way the painting’s got organized lines and blocks but then the guitar is deconstructed reflects the sort of music I like. I want music to have some edge and surprise to it but I also want to hear hooks and melody.