There are three themes that emerge when I scroll through my memories of my father.
1. My father understood art and artists. He spent countless Saturdays taking me and my sister to the various museums in New York. Looking back, I realize how much of my formative education took place outside of school. He was an amazing photographer and carried a Minolta with him everywhere. When the weather was nice in New York, we spent time seeking outdoor art. We watched street performers, magicians and mimes in South Street Seaport. Together, we wandered Washington Square Park and listened to musicians. I'm not sure how many of these memories warrant inclusion in a book, but I understand now how much they mean to the person I am today. I've walked the streets in new York trying to recapture those days. Although I never do, I always discover something amazing. My father taught me how to look beyond the surface of things in search of deeper meaning and truth.
Years later, as an undergrad studying Philosophy, my best essay was a criticism of the functional theory of art. This is a theory that basically states that the context of the art is unimportant. I used the case of Rubens' Icarus as an example. It's a tiny painting at the Alte Pinakothek in Munich. The body of Icarus is painted using stronger lines and brighter colors than anyone thinks of when they think of Rubens. Without the story, without knowing how Rubens believed Icarus felt during his fall - this bright failure, returning him to the world of mortals, how can we look beyond the colors and lines to feel what we're meant to?
This week, I'll be focusing on those memories surrounding out time spent with art. Let me know what you think.