They are a century apart, but still, there is a connection.
There may be vast differences between the sisters in Renoir's Pink and Blue painting, and these two impressionable young girls, however, what was it that held them transfixed?
On a recent visit to the São Paulo Museum of Art, I was intrigued by the museum's expansive picture gallery. The exhibit is unique on many fronts, from how it is displayed, literally in an off-the-wall manner, to an extensive collection of 4th century to contemporary works hung in chronological order. That afternoon, two things caught my attention, Renoir's Pink and Blue portrait, and two young girls running from painting to painting with their LED sneakers flashing with each step.
Then something wonderfully spontaneous happened, the two girls frenetic pace came to a screeching halt when their eyes fell upon Renoir's masterpiece. Why should this 1881 portrait of two sisters make them stop? More importantly, what held them there? Magically Renoir's painting made an immediate impression on these two Brazilian girls, probably sisters. In the painting's stillness and silence, a connection was made between sister and sister, and past and present.
I can only imagine the Brazilian sisters trying to make sense of the life that was depicted in Pink and Blue, comparing it to their own fast paced life in a sprawling metropolis. The differences between the two pairs of sisters was apparent, however, it was the similarities that kept them mesmerized. Funny thing how art has a way of putting your own life in context.
If you are lucky enough to have a young one in your life, pry them away from their mobile device, take them to a museum, and just see what connections may form.
Live in color,
Street artists are the engines for vision and experimentation. They are the nonconformists that remain curious and creative. They have the temerity to buck convention every chance they get. Nowhere is that more visible than within the city walls of São Paulo, Brazil.
Wedged between its tree-lined boulevards, with the glistening silver towers of opulence, and its shabby, shanty villages, lies the artful neighborhood of Vila Madalena. This area is best known for its outrageous street art. The meandering passageways of Vila Madalena have become a living museum, giving homage to the renegade artist.
At the epicenter of this hood lies Beco do Batman, better known as Batman Alley. Every inch of paintable surface of this winding alleyway is covered in street art. Not a trash bin, signpost, or step is spared from the artist's spray can, even splattering to the cobblestones under foot.
The first installation was painted back in the 80's. Two guesses what it was. You guessed it: the caped crusader himself, Batman. Since then street artists, alongside fine art students, take turns decorating the crude, stucco walls. The content includes, stunning black and white illustrations, three-dimensional abstractions, and psychedelic flights of fancy.
Within these narrow passageways we witness what artists do best — astound. Visitors are entranced. Tourists, beside São Paulo residents, walk amongst these phantasmagorical images in a state of wonder.
Being caught up in a whirl of marvel myself, I was reminded that these artists are our mentors. They emphasize the importance of never closing ourselves off to curiosity and experimentation. They demonstrate that breaking the rules can be liberating, exhilarating and even amusing.
As we enter 2017 can we think like a street artist? Can we be adventurous, daring, and when everyone else turns right, turn left? Most importantly, can we challenge ourselves to push our boundaries, for creativity is the essence of life.
Live in color,
An image alone sometimes feels insufficient, that’s where Musings come in. A space where words and images come together to tell the story.
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