My Computer Screen and Public Art
Today, I’m avoiding infertility (yes, at times my best coping strategy is avoidance and I’m embracing it today). So today I decided tos hare something very different and somewhat random.
I’m going to tell you all about the background picture I have on my computer right now.
This picture is so not me.
For years and years my background photo has been relatively generic. Always taken by me or my husband, but generic none-the-less. Usually my photo choice would be from a few select types of images – our dog, a mountain scene, a landscape, or a famous landmark from one of our travels.
While the picture I have on my computer currently is from one of our vacations, it is also completely different from my “normal” type of photo because its colourful and fun.
I took the picture in 2012 while on the Highline in New York City. (FYI, for those of you who aren’t familiar with the Highline, it is truly an amazing public reuse of an old piece of infrastructure, which has done wonders to transform communities and provide a place for people to enjoy the outdoors and linger and laugh and all good communities need safe places for people to linger and laugh).
First, I should add that love public art. I love public art for the controversies it can create and the interpretations that are held in the eye of the beholder. I love that public art is accessible to everyone, and there are no admission fees to people wishing to view. I love that public art is often stumbled upon, rather than sought out, so even non art lovers (like me) can be enriched and enjoy the surprise. I believe all great cities invest in public art and public spaces as a way to make urban spaces inviting to people and a way to create cultural capital. To me, the success of a public art should be measured by the number of conversations that it starts. Anyways, I digress.
I love this painting because it is so unlike me to love it.
The picture is vivid. The colours are vibrant.
For all I know this painting has an underlying meaning as an ad for some clothing store or some perfume, but for me it was simply an artistic expression.
You may guess from how I composed this picture when I took it, that I particularly love the central component of this image – the women and the man. I love what this picture says to me – when two people are in love, love radiates. Love is more than just to people and has the power to shape the world.
As our trip to New York was supposed to be our send off into parent-hood, our last week of undistracted love for each other – this picture was the perfect symbol for me. Two people in love, as though they are the only ones left in the world, and time stopped for their embrace. The innocence in this image is/was amazing to me.
I love this photo because I love the use of an old brick wall. The wall, which if in its natural color, would be large, stark and boring, just like all the brown/red ones surrounding it. But, painted with this vivid image, the wall has the ability to transform the living space.
I love that their cloths harken back to a past era, yet the colors scream here and now.
I love that underneath the people kissing, you can see the spray paint cans on the rooftop, lined up in a perfect row. I see an artist playing with the colors to make this painting just perfect. I see an artist creating a master piece for people like me to love. I would have loved to watch the artist work, and see the wall transform from dull and mundane into this masterpiece. And yet, the organization of the spray cans, really connects with me, because the image implies spontaneity while the cans imply order and structure. Such an odd dichotomy, which fits my personality perfectly.
I love this painting because of the second painting below. The painting of a busy streetscape. A Street where all forms of transportation meet and interact. Based on the vehicles and clothing, clearly it too is a throwback to past times. But, the painting at street level forces nearly everyone walking past to interact with this painting. Maybe people will envision themselves walking down the street years ago, or maybe they will wonder about what life was like then. Who knows, but I am confident for the majority of people, they will enjoy the painting, more than a plain brick wall.
I have no idea if this painting still exists, part of me hopes it remains for years to come because I loved it so much. And yet, another part of me hopes it’s been transformed once again into something that will speak to others and keep the conversations going.
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