Personal Statement

Personal Statement

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Diaspora in Reverse: Life's Little Mysteries

Well, the train is slowly pulling into the station.  Twelve boxes of charitable donations departed today.  Closets are coming together.  You can see a whole lot of floor, and also walls.  Which means that art is starting to go back up.

At some point during the renovation process, I ran across this image out of Southern Living and pinned it to a Pinterest board with a comment that, inevitably, my rooms tend to look like this, with art tiled pretty much from floor to ceiling. 

I didn't consciously intend to reinvent the master bedroom around this image, but somehow it happened - I painted the walls gold, and when the art started to go up, it started to go up, basically, like this. Also unplanned: the designation of the master as "place where Mom's original art, crazy folk art and travel souvenirs come home to roost." My pumpkin painting from last fall ended up there for lack of any other rational place to display it, plus the colors harmonized with the bed linens. My vintage image of Salzburg (acquired when I was living there and lovingly schlepped from there to Vienna to Budapest to Houston with only a minimum of muss and fuss) was already a bedroom fixture, and while unpacking I ran across a similar image of Budapest that was unframed but now is dressed up and hanging over a chest of drawers. From there, things kind of snowballed: made sense to add the watercolor of Banff (honeymoon souvenir) because it was already in a gold mat, and it tied in thematically to the other travel stuff. Et cetera, ad nauseam. Add deer antlers and a couple of bird images, and you pretty much have the image above.  Oh, wait - two decorative rooster plates, in these colors, occupying the space between the door and my bookcase.  Bird image comment withdrawn.  And we do have a moose head (not a real one, but a plush animal head mounted on wood - another honeymoon souvenir), but it's too kitschy even for me, which is why the 12 year-old has claimed it as his own.

So, yeah, we're there.

Interesting about the art:  in the same box as the Budapest advert and some other unframed art, I ran across a tube of lithographs, roughly twelve in all.  Each is a (very high quality) copy of a pencil drawing colored in with pencils and pastels, and if I am interpreting the imagery collection, each is intended as a survey of an area of study - as in, the history of the Earth, the evolution of machinery, the arts, zoology and so on.  They are sort of ridiculously hard to describe but, also, quite cool.  The Big Kid immediately latched on to one that, from top to bottom, flows from pyramids and aquaducts to the Hoover Dam to the combustion engine to an astronaut in free flight:  all very science-y, and therefore very him, and the colors (blues and golds) match his new bedroom color scheme.  I am partial to the one that depicts the arts (ballet, opera, theater, literature) and the zoology one (various animals, one flowing into the next, with colors that would go perfectly in our dining room) and am strongly considering having them custom matted and framed.

One interesting little detail:  NO ONE KNOWS WHERE THE MYSTERY ART CAME FROM.

I assumed that the portfolio of images was Spouse's - a souvenir from his own Grand Tour of Europe.  The drawings look like something that you might buy at an art fair held in a public park in Italy or France.   But he claims to have zero prior knowledge of their existence. 

They certainly didn't originate with me, but they have to be ours somehow:  can't think of a theory on which they would end up in one of our boxes, given that everything that was packaged with them pretty clearly was ours.

Forget to mention that they are unsigned.  Seriously, we have MYSTERY ART in our midst.  And I'm okay with that.  You open a box, you find some art, you actually like the art (well, some images more than others), and (if you are me) you just know:  it's the universe's intent that you do something with this stuff.  So framing will be involved.  But, first, I'm going to photograph some of the images and upload them . . . somewhere . . . in the hopes that somebody might recognize the artist, or provide some hint as to provenance. 

Would share them with you now, but there's this small matter of us not having Internet still, because Spouse was weighing his service provider options.  I am informed that I will have Internet TOMORROW.  And then my sleuthing shall begin . . . .

No comments: