Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Tête blanche et rose

I was sitting on a bench at the 14th Street station, waiting for the E train to take me to MoMA. I was reading The New Yorker and was stoned. I looked up for a second. Nearly past me now at this point, I saw G walking past. I wondered if he saw me and had wanted to keep on walking, to not say hello, wondered if I would have done the same thing if we hadn't made eye contact. I thought about saying hello for a second, but squashed the thought, it seeming pointless.

There was a time in our friendship, which was a very intense thing for a couple years, this a person I was in love with in many senses, when we had had a fight, not an infrequent thing, but were making up and got stoned and went to the Met together to look at art. I remember in one of the galleries there was a pair of old ladies, seemingly very good friends, and they were talking about the art together, really enjoying the art and each other. I wanted to reach that state with G, feared I wouldn't. I remember thinking this when I saw them and telling him about this after, how I was really sad at the idea that we might not get to be those old ladies, that our friendship might not make it that long, but how I really hoped it would, how much I would love that. It still breaks my heart a bit each time I see this person and realize what was lost, however it does so much less than it used to. We haven't been close in a really long time, a year, maybe two. I started this year by letting it go, realized I needed to stop trying with this person, that there was too much baggage, too much ill will that would forever rear its head.

And so I decided not to say hello, went back to reading the article about Iran I had been reading and tried, unsuccessfully, not to pick at this emotional scab. I went to MoMA, alone as I had intended to, but now aware of that in a weird way. I listened to music and floated through the Matisse show, few things grabbing me like I had hoped, for some reason most of his work in this show, his entire body really, failing to wow me. There were a few images that I really enjoyed though, images that stirred something inside of me, unsure as to what these things are that were stirred, but surer than anything that these stirrings are what establish meaning. The one painting that I spent the longest in front of was Tete blanche et rose, a painting of his daughter. There is something really magical about this painting, hints about fashion's relation to the body, the geometric patterns of the dress, as well as its colors, bleeding on to to the subject's face. And the presence of that jeweled choker, an exclamation point. What the sentence is before that bit of punctuation, I'm not really sure. I get hints of it, but it's in a language I don't entirely understand, one that I am not sure yet how to translate into English.

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