Jee is an Associate Buyer for Barneys New York’s Developing Ready to Wear Women’s program– she’s a devoted merchant, a strong woman, and has impeccable style even has she ventures into unfamiliar fashion-forward territory, she is an image of the fashion girl you might envision, as working in a place like B, always wearing the latest oversized sweater or over-long sleeved dress blouse. Jee and I developed a fun friendship due to our similar familial backgrounds and similar interests. We’re 2 years strong now, and I’m very happy to call her as a friend in my inner circle.
Some weekends ago, I met up for lunch with Jee, a dear friend of mine and talented retail analyst and curator. Having stuffed ourselves with the scrumptious food to be had over at Moma’s Cafe, we decided to partake in a much needed stroll over at MoMA’s permanent collections. Our promenade around MoMA’s floors was backed by the soft, intermittent patterings of female chatter– a soundtrack characteristic of a robust friendship such as ours. The program for the day revolved around the kinds of art we each liked and didn’t like.
I’ve always been fascinated by the individualities of seeing, how two people can regard the same object and come out with very different perceptions. So often do I come across a situation where one person finds something to be profoundly beautiful/good, while another comes to the polar opposite, yet equally certain conclusion for it (take this entire US election debacle, like how is that possible??! but the fact of the matter is, it is).
This conundrum is something I desire to understand on a deeper level: What are the makeups that have constructed the way you and I presently see and react to the realities and the stimuli around us?
What are the recurring laws or patterns if any, that can help me to understand? Maybe a knowledge in perceptual psychology, neuroscience (Read this fascinating article on how political orientations are correlated with brain structure in young adults), and an aptitude for emotional intelligence would help, mais quoi d’autre?
I know that for me at least, art helps to explore this question further. In this practice of seeing, I am able to dig a little deeper into myself – my memories, my feelings, my hopes, my disappointments, & the thoughts and the hearts of the people in my circle. And in doing so, I find I understand life a little bit better.
Painted by acclaimed French surrealist, Rene Magritte, The Lovers or Les Amants portrays the busts of two lovers in embrace, each face clothed and masked by a thick, opaque cloth.
Visual aids are emblems of the two lovers’ intimacy fiercely in consummate display, an intimacy that can be seen burgeoning with beautiful and quiet desperation. A feeling of being overcome by love shines brightly, albeit momentarily, until a much stronger and gripping undercurrent of detachment takes the focal point of our gaze, carrying all of its severity, with white cloth acting as catalyst.
The mid to dark-tone colorways that Magritte employs are subtle and unobtrusive enough to service also in the detachment between viewer and art subject.
Our gaze is swept off-kilter. We survey upon the scene of the lovers’ embrace as if looking one meter too far from that which is necessary to obtain maximum impact.
Anxiety Creeps in,
Too often we desperately seek to carry on a love stillborn.