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Sunday, October 3, 2010

Regarding Utrillo

“But he was a terrible alcoholic, just terrible,” one woman was telling her friend. “His wife had to watch him every second.”
“So many painters are, aren’t they?” said the friend. “What about that Toulouse Lautrec? And Jackson Pollack? His wife must have been a saint.”
They lingered a moment more in front of the canvas, regarding a leaf-strewn sidewalk and the perfect symmetry of a fence diminishing into the distance.
I moved in after them, taking up my position in front of the beautiful urban landscape with its layered light and shade and signature Utrillo perspective. Almost imperceptible, as if an afterthought, was the figure of a woman looking through the bars of the fence. Utrillo, I thought. You give yourself away. In all your paintings it is the city you adore, the cathedrals and streets and boulevards you make love to with your brushes. People are incidental, hurriedly daubed into being with a dot and dash. But your trees! They ply their wares to the viewer. Your stone and mortar come alive. Montmartre was your universe, and you were its cognac-soaked, dazzled stargazer.
A tour group approached, led by a docent, so I stepped back to let them pass.
“Utrillo,” proclaimed the tour leader, “was an Impressionist, yes, but one of the lesser ones.”
With that, the group moved on, eager to find Monet and his water lilies, featured on the museum’s poster.


Anonymous said...

Ha! One of the lesser ones?
Love your piece and the last one too.
Keep them coming.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful and imaginative, G. Let your peeps know the rules of the road with these. You're given a painting as inspiration. The rest comes out of your lovely mind.

Salvatore Buttaci said...

Gita, I like this one very much. There's a sadness about it, a story only you could tell best. I know I don't get to read all the stories out there, but I do try to read yours. I consider you a favorite flash writer of mine.

Harry said...

Just updated my resume

Position sought: "cognac-soaked, dazzled stargazer"
Salary negotiable

I was unfamiliar as the tourists are likely to remain with Utrillo. I've Googled since but it doesn't really matter. The artist I came to see wrote this piece. Great work and so nice to visit your blog again. Keep 'em coming!