Thursday, April 2, 2009

A Photo of a Painting of a Painting of Much Beauty ...

I am a student of Life, but I am also a student of Travel ... or so I like to think. I haven't been around the whole wide world, but I have been to a number of wonderful Countries. And Memorabilia from here and there is putting it lightly when it comes to me and traveling and art work. Hopefully the Market will rebound and we can eek out another fine trip or two.

A few years back I spent time in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico with my friend Kelly. She and I share the same passion for Artwork. Don't get us wrong ... we love Girl Shopping, we love Manicures and Pedicures, we love Gardening. We love each other. We love Travel too, and have been to Italy and France together. But beyond these things we love ... it's safe to say that Kelly and I, together, love the search for Artwork in foreign Countries above everything.

On that trip to San Miguel I spotted this painting from the top floor of a Garden Gallery, across a 5 story atrium, from the balcony I was standing on, and the balcony it was hanging on. I put down whatever sculpture I was touching, or left whatever painting I was lost in, and hooked it over to "The Dream". It was a painting by J c Luis ... of a painting by Henri Rousseau. But Kelly and I couldn't make the connection. We knew we had seen it, we knew it was by an Artist of prominence and stature, but we just couldn't put it together.

And I didn't care about anything except the fact that I was in deep lust. It was already mine. I couldn't leave it. I had to wrap myself in it. So Kelly went for the very shy and gracious, not quite English savvy Gallery Hostess, while I whispered sweet somethings in my Paintings ears. I made my offer and Madalena called J c Luis right away. He accepted. I was in Heaven ... except for the knot in my Stummie from the broken $500 Limit On Purchases Vow that Ron and I had made at the Alter of Love.

At first I thought I would just let it show up. But I was so confident that my news was one of the first things out of my mouth when I walked in. He was excited but a little freaked out. The Painting still had a long way to go before it would be hanging on our bedroom wall. The wall that had been screaming for something huge and gorgeous since we had moved in 25 years ago. In the Gallery, it all made perfect sense as to why it had taken so long.

The Painting came to us all the way from San Miguel on the back of a truck. On that same truck was an amazing sculpture that opened the door to my friendship with Shellie, a neighbor who was in San Miguel at the same time. My painting was at the back of the truck and had to be unloaded before she could get her unbelievable Sculpture ... a shapely Woman's bottom with a Butterfly on one of her buttocks. We didn't know each other then but she's our Girlfriend now. And Kelly's piece, which arrived the week after we returned, is another Post in itself. A huge Pedro Friedeberg piece, of row after long row of tiny churches, tiny houses, tiny adobes, tiny mailboxes and tiny something elses. The piece is actually behind him in the photo on his website

What was a one month wait turned into a long three months. At two months I called the "Expediter" at the warehouse storing my new True Love, to inquire about our 6' by 8' Wonder ... Senor' Gomez said, "Ahhhhhhhhh ... Meeeze Keeeler ... we have "Much Beauty" okay and crate. She will be leaving in a few many days".
After those many few days, when it was finally hanging on the wall, our dear friend Ken Simmons nailed it when he saw it, " Oh Lar Lar ... do you know what you have here" ?

And so it is ... Rousseau's original painting of The Dream hangs in the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Ron and I saw it in a Houston show at the MFA not too long ago. And J c Luis's painting of The Dream, which we refer to as Much Beauty ? It hangs safely and soundly here on The Prairie in our Living Room. Ron approves.


  1. What a wonderful story! Thanks for posting it, and the painting. I hope that Ron loves it as much as you do. It's certainly a welcome glimpse of the tropics on a frigidly cold day!

  2. That is a beautiful work of art...and the story that goes along with it is AMAZING.
    I love Kelly's peice cool.
    Take care, suz

  3. This is absolutely gorgeous. It reminds me of Gabriel Garcia Marquez.... his stories always take place in the tropics.....

  4. I loved your story. The website of Pedro Friedeberg was a discovery...great work!
    thank you for posting it.

    Mary Salomon