Wednesday, July 15, 2009

secret 15 - me and matisse

disclaimer: i'll admit that this secret has been revealed right here on this blog before most of you started reading. and since i'm scheduling these posts because i'm traveling this week, i'm totally and blatantly recycling this one. because it's just so good...


matisse's goldfish (1912)

it was the summer of 1994, i was leaving russia alone after studying there for a semester. i had a few days in moscow and spent one of the them wandering the halls of the fantastic pushkin museum, where this wonderful painting hangs in a wonderful, large room that's full of other matisse paintings. strangely, i found myself alone in the room, standing there before the wonder that is the dance. i turned around and across from me, there it was, goldfish.

i approached slowly, savoring the moment and savoring the fact that i had it all to myself, even the mean old guard lady who usually sits on a stiff chair in the corner was elsewhere. i could scarcely breathe. i got closer and closer to the vibrant colors. and then, there i was, standing close enough to touch it. i could actually touch it, there was no glass, just the thick layers of paint that matisse himself laid on the canvas. and no one there to stop me.

so, i did it. i touched it, gently and just with my index and middle finger of my left hand. right there in the leaves near the pink flower of the lower right corner. i felt a nearly electrical thrill pass through me and i felt transformed, even if just for a moment. i had literally touched greatness. and i didn't get caught.

12 comments:

Eternally Distracted said...

I was just waiting for you to say that you touched it and was deafened by the sounds of a million alarms and the footsteps of Policeman running to get you!

Polly said...

I did that once too, I touched a paining in a museum, but I was caught and told off in front of everyone in my group (that was back at school)... it's one of my most embarrasing memories

spudballoo said...

Ooooh that's an OUTRAGEOUS secret, brilliant. Julie and MAtisse...sitting in a tree..KISSING ec.

Fantastic, how thrilling. you're very brave, I'm so square, I never even think of doing stuff like this. x

Molly said...

Bad girl!
But I'm sure Matisse wouldn'tve minded ...
And btw - omg how lovely are your new shoes!!! (yes, I'm a twitter lurker ...)

Delwyn said...

...and did you notice there are now three dead goldfish floating on the top of the bowl...shame...

Happy days

Bill Stankus said...

Touching story.

Chiara.u said...

Oh wow! I feel so coward now... never thought to do anything like this... too scary! but I'm sure it's been a gorgeous experience!!
Now I must read some older secrets I've lost!
hugs xx

Fidgeting Gidget said...

OOOH that's a good story! I saw a Van Gogh at the Bellagio when I was in Vegas and I was itching to touch it (those globs of paint are quite irresistable), but it was all wired to zap someone with some killer laser or something if anyone even dared to try.

Vancouver's Enviro Girl said...

Good for you! I have always wanted to do that at the Met in NYC but the guards there are totally anal if you even BREATHE near the paintings. And DUDE! My Mom has that print hung very prominently in her home. Weird.

Lisa said...

You lucky girl, not to get caught by a grumpy Russian lady is one lucky escape indeed! :)

Char said...

wow - to have touched it. magic.

i adore him

MagnificentDebra said...

Amazing! The alarm didn't go off? You weren't escorted straight to jail without passing go? You brave woman! Ahh, but what we will do for love!