Its a beautiful rainy day here at the foot of the Sleeping Beauty mountain range in the Hessequa area. Rainy days are perfect for reading. I am currently reading this book:
I feel as if I should warn you: it is a depressing read (well so far anyway, don’t know how its going to end), but I found the following story about the Mona Lisa in it which I would like to share with you today:
“Vincenzo Peruggia had been hired by the Louvre to construct protective glass cases for a number of paintings. On the evening of August 20, 1911 he and two accomplices hid inside a closet used for storing student art supplies. When they emerged the next morning, Peruggia went straight to the Mona Lisa, removed it from the wall, and carried it out the museum’s main entrance.
At the time, the Mona Lisa wasn’t widely known outside the art world’ it was not the most famous work in its gallery, much less the museum. It took twenty-four hours before the painting’s absence was even noticed. But once it drew the attention of the burgeoning print media, the theft became international intrigue, and the Mona Lisa, now referred to as a masterpiece, became the most famous paining in the world. When the Louvre reopened, after a week of being closed for investigation, queues formed outside for the fist time in the museum’s history. In the two years between the painting’s theft and return, more people came to see the bare wall on which it had hung – “the mark of shame’ – than had ever come to see the paining.
Franz Kafka paid the empty wall a visit within a month of the painting’s disappearance, the absence now among his collection of ‘invisible curiosities’ – sights, events, people, and works of art that he had missed seeing. The following year, perhaps inspired by the experience, Kafka wrote his masterpiece, The Metamorphosis’, in which a man awakes one morning as an insect, his perspective radically altered, and his body – his first home – no longer hospitable.
The fame of the painting has only increased with time – or perhaps it’s more correct to say that the fame of the fame of the painting has increased. People want to see the Mona Lisa because other people want to see the Mona Lisa. The Louvre estimates that 80 percent of those who visit the museum come to see only that one work. It now resides behind 1.52 -inch-thick bulletproof glass. While the purpose of the glass is to protect the world’s most valuable paining , the effect is to enhance our sense of its value and vulnerability. When we look at the Mona Lisa, the bulletproof glass also serves as a corrective lens.”
This story makes me sad. Not because the Mona Lisa was stolen, or that she became famous because she was stolen, It makes me sad because…you know: humans! How does this story make you feel?
Anyway while on the subject of stories, art and books….I was delighted to find out from a fellow artist (who also send me the images. Thanks Barbara!) that an essay was written about my work for a book published in conjunction with the Also Know As Africa Art Fair! (AKAA Art Fair in Paris 2022)
I feel honored and am grateful for the validation.
I just wish that the gallery who represented me in Paris at the fair, bought a copy of this book back to S.A for me, but apparently they were promised 3 copies, and are following up on this.
So on the subject of “Quality of Movement.s” …chin up and keep on moving! Wishing you a wonderful day.