On the wall above my crib when I was a baby, my parents hung a beautiful reproduction of a pastel still life with flowers by the French Symbolist Odilon Redon. Perhaps this is why I have always loved his work, some sort of residual memory from when my eyes were forming their ability to perceive beyond high contrast simple shapes. I remember years ago, how magical it was to walk into a darkened gallery at the Musee Dorsay in Paris and peek under velvet shrouds at his opalescent drawings protected from the light that could fade them forever.
Another piece that hung in my childhood house was a Picasso. It was in the bathroom. It was an absolute enigma to me. A puzzle. Every time I would go into the bathroom, for years, I would stare at that drawing. I couldn’t for the life of me figure out what it was. I was too embarrassed to ask my parents. It was a simple line drawing, just four lines. It got to the point where upon entering the bathroom I would force myself not to look at it at first. Then I would turn and confront it quickly, hoping to catch this mystery off guard and expose its secret once and for all. No. These four lines were indecipherable.
Until that day when I just walked in the bathroom and saw it. It was a woman’s bottom! Wow! I remember thinking, why would anyone want to draw a woman’s bottom? No wonder I didn’t see it…I would have never expected a woman’s bottom to be hanging in our bathroom! I was so relieved…the enigma unveiled. Ever since then, it is as if that drawing and I have a secret nod whenever we see each other.
Until next time, let mysteries unfold in their own time. Don’t be too quick to solve them. Keep your child-like curiosity alive. CREATE.