Art, Meet 2020
Has 2020 plague life changed us deeply? We can revisit that question in 2022. But, in the thick of it, how does all this affect how we experience art?
We’ve certainly found ourselves looking anew at masterpieces through our 2020 eyes. Take Magritte’s 1928 painting of The Lovers featured above. What used to seem deeply strange or mysterious now seems like a perfectly imaginable Phase -5 Face Snood Strategy if we don’t get these cases under control. Did Magritte paint a melt-blown, non-woven polypropylene filter inside his face wraps?
Some other artworks we’re seeing differently …
Giorgio de Chirico. The Song of Love, Paris. 1914
It’s 2020. No glove, no love.
Edward Hopper. Nighthawks. 1942
“We should leave. It’s getting crowded, and that maskless bartender is all up in my face.”
Bartolomé Esteban Murillo. Two Women at a Window. 1655/60
Watching life from a safe distance.
Jan Davidsz de Heem. A Table of Desserts. 1640
That’s lunch done.
Richard Prince. Emergency Nurse. 2004
Concern for the health of patients and the health workers who treat them.
Alice Neel. Last Sickness. 1953
So many families separated. So many elders sitting alone.
Salvador Dali. The Persistence of Memory. 1928
How long have we been doing this? What month, day, time is it?
Vittore Carpaccio. Two Venetian Ladies. 1490
Another day in chaos.
The Gower Family: The Children of Granville, 2nd Earl Gower. George Romney. 1776-1777
“Alright. One more song, then it’s back to your/our online math modules.”
Jacob Lawrence. This is Harlem. 1943
But, through it all, grateful for family, shelter, neighbourhood glimpses, and community caring.