Sunday, December 22, 2013

Day 363. Picasso and Chicago and Guitar on Table with Girl

One of the most amazing events for me in 2013 was going to see the Picasso and Chicago exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago.  Picasso, Van Gogh, Matisse, and Alice Neel are my most favorite of artists, and to even stand in the presence of their incredible work reduces me into a shaky puddle on the ground.  I have a hard time controlling my emotions, tears, and extremities peering at their pencil marks or brushstrokes.  When I look at their signature--RIGHT THERE!  My gosh, I... Well, I barely have words.  That they once were standing in front of this canvas or paper, and now I am, too...  Typing these words, I can feel myself at the museum once again, feel my heart speed up, feel my eyes becoming wet.

My husband and I went on the very last day of the exhibit.  It was one of those, "I CANNOT miss this."  No question.  So we made it up there (does anyone remember my posts of my computer blowing up during this time period?  That's when we went.), and of course, it was packed.  All the other procrastinators were there with us.

Here's the funny thing about public events.  Whether you're in a gallery, at a play, or at an opera, you experience these intense events with complete strangers, and yet, through the experience, you somehow bond with them however momentarily.  As you slowly move along, throngs of people will speed and blow past you, as if on a race to get to the end. This action I don't understand and won't ponder at all.  However, there are a few people who move right along with you at the same speed.  You pause within feet of each other throughout the entire exhibit, slowly reading every wall post, examining each picture or sculpture for approximately the same amount of time.  Why, here is a soul mate in art!  All of our hearts are beating together and sometimes we'll look at each other and smile, silent and euphoric in our shared wonderment before us.  This is what it is.

And so, there was a young woman with dark hair in a blue and gray shirt, purse slung across her body, who flowed with us.  I would be taking pictures, and in front of one of Picasso's "Guitar on Table" the girl stood back so I could click. We laughed, because she, my husband, and I had been swirling around each other for quite some time, and she said, "I'm trying to get out of your shot," and I said, "I'm always ridiculously taking so many pictures, but I can't help myself.  I'll just call the picture, 'Guitar on Table with Girl.' "  And so people, here you have it. (If you have the time, please read to the end to get the whole feel of the day.  Click on the pictures to enlarge.)

On our way up:

 His SIGNATURE people!

Critics at the time accused him of imitating Van Gogh (below left).

See the girl in the 2 pics below who will soon be sitting at the table with the guitar? 

I know it's hard to believe, but I'm only posting about 1/3 of my pictures here.

P.S.  In the very last room, a guard accused me of having my flash on--which I didn't! I showed the guard my camera that clearly had the flash off.  That is the second time I've gotten in trouble at the Art Institute.  Another time I was inside a taped off box around a Cy Twombly.  I didn't see the tape, because I was looking at the Twombly!  Lost in the moment is my defense.

FINALLY, when we came out of the museum on Michigan Avenue, there was a street musician, a saxophone player, playing "Close to You."  Cars were rushing by, there was a definite chill in the spring air, flowers were just starting to bloom, the saxophone's notes were twirling over the street to us, and I had just seen Picasso!  A moment of utter and complete magic had just happened to me.  Heaven, I am here to tell you, can be here on earth.

Leaving the Art Institute:

Michigan Avenue

A wedding party I spotted from the car:

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