I don’t seek out art. It’s not that I don’t enjoy it or appreciate it. That would be ridiculous, but I rarely go to museums or art galleries. I often find the art hard to relate to. It doesn’t speak to me. (I assume it’s more about me not listening.) But from time to time, I see a piece of art or an artist that moves me- not just emotionally but physically. I have to take a deep breath because my heart has sped up and is trying to free itself from my chest. I want to cry and jump for joy. I feel like I have wings and want to take flight. I want to bust open the painting and free its subjects. We’ll fly off together.
Everyone has different things that speak to them. You may not be able to relate to mine nor I to yours. The first painting I ever truly loved was Vermeer’s “Girl Interrupted at her Music.” I had just read Susanna Kaysen’s “Girl, Interrupted” and was fascinated by her description of the painting. As soon as I looked it up online I knew it wasn’t enough. I had to see it in person. When my mother took me to New York after I turned sixteen I begged her to go to the Frick Museum where she left me in front of the painting, wandering off. I sat there for probably ten minutes and that is a very long time for a sixteen year old and a painting. I felt completely riled up and unsatisfied. I could not know enough about this scene. I wanted to know more about the girl. I wanted us to take off together, but I was finally confronted by the very obvious situation. She was a painting and I was a girl. A glimpse of her is all I would ever know.
Now I understand that the art that I find this physical connection with is art that seems to speak directly to my experience. At the time I felt frozen as Vermeer’s girl, trying to find a way to silently make people understand me. When I saw Graham Francoise’s show at Austin Art Garage last week, I had a similar experience. But these weren’t paintings of being beyond reach, these were of hope and friendship, of getting lost in the world in a positive way, all with a sweet, subtle humor. Each one of them starts your mind spinning, imagining the story that could be weaved into the painting. Check out these favorites of mine:
You’ll need to go to www.austinartgarage.com to really check it out. It’s worth it.