03 October 2003

The Art Institute of Chicago before moving

I spent yesterday at the Art Institute. I went by myself which I’ve been finding myself doing a lot these days (being alone, not going to the art institute). It’s been good for me, I think. I enjoyed looking at the paintings that I wanted to see without all the nonsense of having to keep up with someone or having someone whine about not seeing what they want to see. I took a load of pictures, many of which didn’t turn out as you’re not allowed to use flash in the galleries. A funny story about that to follow.

As I was taking pictures, my flash turned on accidentally. I didn’t think anyone noticed until one of the attendants, an older black man, came over and began to tell me that if I couldn't turn off my flash I needed to—but I cut him off, apologizing, saying it was an accident. He said he understood, but his supervisor saw and asked him what he was going to do about it. He said he was supposed to kick me out of the gallery, but I seemed like a nice kid. I apologized again, and he held out his hand with two pieces of candy in it (there’s a display in the same gallery from which people are supposed to take candy, an illustration of lives taken by AIDS each day). He said, “Everybody likes candy, right?” and smiled at me. I smiled back and took the candy.

There’s a new Francis Bacon on loan to the Institute. It’s pretty incredible. The picture I took of it didn’t come out.

I followed a tour around for about an hour and learn about Impressionism and gas lighting in French circuses. I realized that art is something I need to learn more about. My oil painting class in college didn’t cut it. Made me think of other things I wanted to learn more about. These things include Modernist philosophy, Jazz (see next paragraph), the Klu Klux Klan, the Japanese language, the French language, France, baseball, and the opposite sex. A more complete list to follow.

I’m now eight hours into Ken Burn’s Jazz. Louis Armstrong is still my hero. I picked up one of his records yesterday. I like it.

Also, the first chapter of my opus "Omerza Walking" was accepted for publication in the fall issue of Catch. Presence, the ugly stepchild of a short story, struck out once again.