Modigliani And The Imbecile

Bringing a baby to an art museum. What are the parents thinking? Why are they not better trained to think. And so, I view Modigliani and one of the best exhibits I’ve ever seen. But it is a Saturday afternoon on a cloudy rain threatening day; the people have crowded the beautiful wanna-be-something-other-it-is place (Phillips) and their breadth is a burden between myself and paintings. It is so hard to focus on art in a place where occupants of it lack just that. Difficult to be surrounded by so much art and creative work yet the rooms and halls are filled with imbeciles, those who have no idear what art is. (Yes, this is tommi-worst projecting.) Because none of them strive for it. Yet it grows on me. The wondrous dark colors M used. The way he accentuated women as if to elongate their beauty. The secret M has kept and which will obviously never be revealed is what these women actually look(ed) like. We want to know who Mona Lisa was but I want to know what and how M’s women are/were. There are a few portraits where I wouldn’t ask twice but the likes of the noble Polish Woman or the (in)famous Reclining Female(s), even the surprising painting of Jean Cocteau who revealed M’s genius. I tend to think, after seeing his (M’s) picture, that there is a piece of himself in these pics. Obviously M saw something else. It was about the seeing, sight, vision, eyes. He has taken so much time to either ponder their position or correct an error, but the eyes are always asymmetrical. What was his reason for this? A trade mark? Clarity of origin? And the similarity of the women in Anna (Polish Nobel Woman) and reclining nude (woman unknown) ??? Anna was the wife of a confidant. The(ir) hair and body and shape, facial structure look so similar. All of this questioning and answer seeking, among the imbeciles and hourly waged security forces. “Let’s have a few cc’s of culture shot in our arms, honey.” “Yes, of course, dear,” she responds. Who is gonna save the children from their parents (ignorance that stays before them)? So many of M’s paintings are dated 1917–at least those I enjoyed. I am particularly taken by the portrait of Cocteau! I have looked but cannot find any indication to suspect what I would like to suspect. For we know who JC was, according to certain secondary sources. Yet, the handkerchief in his suit jacket pocket, it means obviously nothing. It certainly doesn’t look like a properly folded handkerchief. And what of the broken (lines in the) nose? The short description of the painting says the chair JC is sitting in a “throne-like” chair. Let me continue. In a drawing “Hermaphrodite Cariatide” the description begins with “Gender ambiguity” and continues with the Leitmotif of the Kabbalah and alchemy and the importance of androgyny. Was alchemy important to M? Seek and you will find or… be patient and it will eventually come around. “SANTO GIOVANNI” a small penciled on notebook paper drawing of St. John. The caption notes: “M. believed in the universality of religion as advocated in the mystical messianic teachings of the Kabbalah…” Symbol of fish, star David and world Jerusalem.

Nuff.

Tommi