Real Life vs Expressionism
I stood in front of the painting. The description said this painting was done in the artist's early expressionistic period. I was trying to figure out what that artist was trying to express. Was it anger or fear or rage or just confusion? Because I was experiencing all of those emotions right now.
I stepped back and reevaluated. Yep, still feeling all those emotions. The purple splotches still were there over top of some blue and then some black was poured over top of the top and bottom. And then some white was smeared all over it all. But then it looked like some of the white was wiped off in areas. Weird.
I reread the gallery brochure. So - early expressionistic period. How early? I would guess kindergarten. I read on. No, this artist was well schooled. The artist was influenced by the abstract expressionism of the last century, including Robert Rauschenberg and Willem de Kooning. The artist also credits Jackson Pollock as having a great influence on his artistic style. Since none of those artists' paintings were illustrated, I had to assume that they were just as weird as this one before me.
I needed caffeine. My head hurt trying to wrap itself around all this weirdness. Luckily the cafe in the gallery was still open. As I drank my coffee, I watched the other gallery visitors. People watching is almost as much fun as trying to figure out artwork.
That guy over there - the one with the briefcase. What's his story? Urban professional or student? I voted for professional, probably single, on his way home after work. He was too well dressed for a starving student. He was attractive in a nerdy sort of way. Not my type. I kept looking.
Here's a good pair. A mom and daughter, I think. Perhaps granddaughter. Yes, definitely granddaughter. Moms and daughters usually argue too much. These two were in deep conversation about the painting I had trouble with earlier. Their heads were together and they were laughing. It made me sad and I brushed away a stray tear. When was the last time I laughed with my mother or daughter? Or the last time we were together, for that matter?
On to happier thoughts. I followed the steps of another group. It seems there was a tour being led. A woman in a smart red dress had several folk following her. Perhaps they were wanting to learn more about the 'early expressionistic' periods found in this gallery. Good luck, I thought. I sipped my lukewarm coffee.
"Anyone sitting here?"
I looked up. A kind face met mine.
"The seat beside you - is it taken? All the rest seem to be." A man I saw earlier, the one with the briefcase, was pointing to the chair next to mine.
I looked around the cafe and indeed all the seats had filled up while I had been daydreaming.
"Sure, suit yourself."
"My name is George. I saw you earlier. You were eyeing that work by Nadia Marnecke, the one that in purples and black." He sat down in the vacant seat.
"Oh yes, that one. Did you understand it? I forget the title of it."
"Well, it was "Untitled". He laughed. A kind laugh, one that made his face light up and made small wrinkles around his eyes.
I laughed with him. "Untitled". Perfect. "It didn't seem to make much sense to me. I mean, that kind of art doesn't speak to me somehow. I guess I want it to look more real or something. Oh, my name is Molly. I don't know why I came tonight. Maybe it was to expand my horizons about art. But I think I can cross this art movement off my list."
George moved his chair closer. "I sure do understand what you mean. What was the artist thinking? Give me a plain picture of a daisy any day. That I can understand." He smiled again. I liked this man and his smile.
We talked a lot that night. After the discussion about the painting we didn't understand, we moved to another gallery with displays of realism and works we could understand. It turned out we had a lot in common. And he wasn't as nerdy as I thought. George is well educated, kind and loving. We have a lot in common. We do a lot of talking and walking. We visit art galleries and museums. We plan on visiting Europe next month to see some of the old masters of art. That will be our honeymoon. I can't wait!