Monday, January 09, 2017

In Search of Van Gogh

File: From Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository

Ray and I were two of the souls who braved the final weekend of Into the Undergrowth at the CAM this weekend.

We went twice actually.

Saturday was freeze-your-face–off cold, and when we saw people walking around Mt. Adams, we thought they were crazy. Turns out, they were hiking up the hill from the Cincinnati Art Museum back to their cars while still another line of cars was snaking down Art Museum Drive looking for parking. So we turned around and went home to nap. (I was exhausted just thinking about it.)

And good thing we did. Tickets sold out at 2 pm, about the time we'd have been hiking through Eden Park to get in.

Sunday morning I started hatching us plan to go back.

Ray wasn't exactly thrilled at the prospect. He had to work Sunday night at the firehouse, the Christmas tree still needed to be taken down and there was a pile of laundry that needed to be done.

But I was convincing.

We'll Uber! It's a short exhibit! Yesterday's madness will drive everyone else away! We'll be in and out in no time!

He seemed to give in so I called an Uber.

You know the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme song? That was our Uber.

Ray said it smelled like feet. I think it smelled like poop. Yet strangely, there was bottle of cologne Velcro'd to the dashboard swishing around as we drove. It didn't help, but we made it.

Yo, holmes, smell la later.

I optimistically pointed out that there weren't nearly as many cars and people as the day before. I looked at Ray bright-eyed and bushy-tailed as if to say, Isn't this FUN?!

Then we learned the wait was 60 minutes.

I heard Ray sigh deeply. "His ear better be in there too," he said, side-eyeing me.

Only 60 minutes?! We'll take it! Here, take our money! Take all of our money!

We ended up having to wait only 45 minutes to get in. Then Van Gogh was ours, all ours. And about 100 other people's.

But it was lovely.

Those crooked lavender steaks of bark in Tree Trunks in the Grass... the thick jabs of paint that form a field of flowers in the sous-bois, the spectral beings that haunt Undergrowth with Two Figures... and poor Vincent and his expressive, fragile mind.

In spite of the hard concrete floors of the CAM that nearly crippled us while we waited, and the crowd in the exhibit, and the poop-stank of the Uber driver, and the fact that Van Gogh's ear wasn't in there as Ray had hoped, it was worth it.

And we are lucky to the have the Cincinnati Art Museum, which has Undergrowth with Two Figures in its permanent collection, so you can see it anytime you want, no wait.

“I experience a period of frightening clarity in those moments when nature is so beautiful. I am no longer sure of myself, and the paintings appear as in a dream.”
― Vincent Van Gogh

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