Wednesday 23 June 2021

In the eye of this beholder

I'm not complaining about my usual view, but there's no denying that it's taken to another level when something like this turns up as the focal point. It's Adix, a 65m schooner owned by a Spanish billionaire who is currently appealing his conviction as an art smuggler. He was given 3 years for trying to take his Picasso out of Spain to sell at auction - not allowed under Spanish law, which has decreed the painting a 'national treasure'. Painted in 1906, it's Head of a Young Woman.

National treasure? Hm, I'm not much of a fan. Look at her thick neck! I can't imagine she was flattered by the result, though she probably was to be asked to sit for it. And at least her eyes are in the right place... I've been to numerous galleries, and on cruise ships, with Picasso paintings hanging on the walls, but it says it all that I can't find any evidence of that on my phone. There were some I saw only in February at the glorious Sculptureum up near Makakana, but I ignored them in favour of the beautiful blown glass, clever 3D constructions and lovely sculptures. One of my favourites, and given the honour of its own room, was this Dale Chihuly piece:

I'm so glad I got to go to the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, WA (er, that's Washington state, not Western Australia) and wander through the galleries of his spectacular, delicate and gorgeous glass creations - even though it still rankles that the guard on duty wouldn't let me take any photos, despite sneakily taking some himself, the shameless hypocrite. Most marvellous of all, though - both for its beauty and intricate construction, and the astonishing trust its location showed in the maturity of the town's citizens - was his fabulous piece Sun on display outside the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. Now that's what I call a national treasure.

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