The best paintings are not the ones that are well-known but the ones that are hidden in dark corners of art galleries. They look very similar to hundreds of other art pieces but if you inspect them very carefully, you will spot that thing that makes them special.
Few years back I found one of them in The Cinquecento Corridor of Uffizi Gallery in Florence. Rather small and shy, the painting looks just as you would expect it – plenty of naked figures in a lovely garden with some swans, flowers and fruits. It just makes you think it is nothing special so you walk by quickly.
But if you are a bit more patient and you look at the bottom section of the painting, you will see two children, a boy and a girl, happily peeing into a pond.
The artist, Jacopo Zucchi, used actually golden paint to mark both streams so they are very bright and shiny. And I still wonder if the title, The Age of Gold, has anything to do with it.
Living in London means an easy access to culture thanks to hundreds of theatres, museums, galleries and concert halls. As a result Londoners are quite relaxed about their outfits when setting off for a cultural experience. It is simply part of everyday life.
So when I got an invite from Maryam to join her for an opening evening of an art exhibition, I didn’t spend much time pondering what to wear. A comfy sweater, black leggings, vintage looking white trainers and wind proof jacket. Obviously, I added some accessories – a woolish hat from Primark and a small plastic bag to accommodate a book I am reading.
But this time my extremely casual look was or too casual, or the attendees may have suspect I am an eccentric, Steve Jobs-like visionary and art-lover. Why? Because they all were as formal as the event itself and were quite confused how to categorized us, especially when we started moving our hands in front of each artwork to make interpretation more visual.
So if you ever want to see wealthy people puzzled, take a note of my outfit that evening and wear to every single formal event. Also don’t forget about being quite expressive with your hand gestures. You will make an impact. Or they will not let you in.
Wandering around Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, I spotted a small painting which from far away seemed to be showing fighting horses. Because the subject was quite unusual I went a bit closer to check what it was really about. What I saw, first surprised me, then caused a grin and finally made me erupt into laughter. The fight was actually… a love struggle or perhaps a fore-play between centaurs.
The painting is full of tension and you can’t be really sure if the female centaurs are up for an intercourse. On the other hand the males look quite aggressive and greedy, chasing and tightly squeezing the females. The scene looks a bit violent and I still wonder what inspired the artist to depict such an unusual subject. But I guess if you are Peter Paul Rubens (yes, the famous Baroque painter), you can simply paint what you want so why not Loves of The Centaurs?