There is something about the way people view art in museum galleries that fascinates me. Each person has their own way of circling and then approaching a piece. Some gaze, some study with great intensity. What are they trying to see? The content, the technique…?
Some people dash by, and take a quick pic on their phone. But others linger, like this couple who put their heads together and peered at this mesmerizing Edvard Munch pastel “The Girl by the Window” (1893) at the Art Institute Chicago for many long moments.
Munch’s piece is special. The young woman in the painting is looking out her window. We are not sure at what but it is mysterious and hidden by the night. Obscured by the art lovers is a dark shape which could be a chair, or another person looking at the girl in the lower right hand corner of Munch’s painting.
Our viewers have taken its place to add to the complexity of watching going on. It is a piece that is many layered and takes a long time to view and try to figure out the whole scenario. Our couple is trying.
“Watched”, oil on linen, 14 x 11″