Changing My Tune

Screen Shot 2013-03-10 at 12.44.52 PMI have two examples about a piece that I changed my mind of. Both are paintings that are part of the art History, with capital H: La Gioconda, and Guernica. I have always admire both paintings, and my change of opinion has nothing to do about first liking it and then not, or vice versa. My change of mind has to do with what I imagine the painting to be, and then the real painting.

When I graduate from high school, my mom, my sister and I went to Europe for the first time. London was cold, even for summer. And Paris was too hot.

My family is very organized when we travel. We always have to do first things first, and that meant go to the Louvre and see the Gioconda!

When we arrived it was impossible to get to the painting. I couldn’t believe how small it was, since I never thought to check the size of the piece. Not only the painting was small, but there was so many people that it was impossible to see it. After a couple of minutes and pushing in the most touristic/enthusiastic way, I could get closer to the painting, just to find it to be protected by a glass that every time a flash was flashed, would bounce right into my eyes making La Gioconda, once again, unreachable. I didn’t get a chance to spend time with the piece, and I really regret it. My change of opinion, in this matter, has to do with my great expectation of coming up close to such an important painting, and not feeling what I thought I would, because of the circumstances.

A similar experience happened with the Guernica. When I arrived to the Museo Reina Sofia, I had to go and see the painting. I was there, in front of the 3.5 x 7.8 meters painting. I couldn’t believe it. I knew it was big, but I didn’t know it was that big! I sat down and just looked at it and let my self feel overwhelmed by such a gigantic expression. I’ve felt like this two other times: 1. when a really huge light hits my eyes and I feel I’m drowning; and 2. when I was shooting a plane and when it turned, the wind that came out of the turbine, almost dropped us from our shooting positions. Lucky me, a group of kinder garden kids was just arriving to look at the piece, and I had the best explanation ever. My expectations of this painting where not only fulfill but overcome.

Now that I’ve written this down, I know that this doesn’t constitute a change of opinion about a piece because of it’s own nature. My change of opinion is based in how museums have chose to show two very important art pieces. Also, it has to do with the circumstance of being a tourist and all its implications.

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