Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Memories of Art

A little over a week ago I heard the news that a work of art sold for a record 300 Million. You can read the NPR story here. The work is Nafea Faa Ipoipo (When Will You Marry?) by post impressionist Paul Gauguin.  My heart did a little jump when I heard this story.
It is the first work of art that I remember vividly from childhood.  My elementary school had a print framed and it hung in the long hallway near the library.  I saw it every day from third grade until sixth grade.  We would line up along the wall from our library time and I would try to be standing near it so I could look at it.  Sometimes I would stand in the hallway by myself (with a hall pass) and just look at it.
What was happening in the picture?  What was the relationship of the two girls?  Where are they?  When I finally was tall enough to read the small plate displaying the name and the artist, I began to wonder about the marriage possibilities.  I don't remember talking about the painting to anyone.  It was simply mine in my heart and the world that it let me glimpsed was secret.
What are your first memories of art?

1 comment:

  1. I remember having art class in elementary school. Mr. Yazzie encouraged us to draw religious-themed things and the stuff I made had a lot of crosses in it. But he also taught us to do pottery and I remember loving the materials. I took some art classes as an undergrad. They were just for me and I loved it beyond reason. But I never really looked at art like this until I was well into adulthood. I'm from the sticks. There was no Gauguin anywhere near... my parents were more about bringing us to the one-off symphony performances that rolled through my town now and then (and one interminable opera when I was 12). Took me until well into my thirties to understand the love of art and that I couldn't let people tell me it wasn't worthy of a career anymore. Thank goodness.