Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Don't Fear the Reaper, Fear Adult Education Classes

So people are all worked into a frenzy about this old lady who ripped a Picasso at the Met. There are two burning issues in my mind right now on this topic:

1. What was this woman doing/wearing to literally rip a huge hole in a painting? I'm imagining her wearing some goth outfit covered in spikes (see above) or having some crazy big Flo-Jo nails. Maybe granny's got a little shiv in her pocket to keep herself safe on the mean streets of the Upper East Side?

2. Knowing that this painting will be painstakingly repaired by the best restorers in the world, it's interesting that people are still so worried about this. Anyone who's seen a patched hole in a canvas knows that when done well, no one can tell. I anticipate that the painting will look exactly the same as it did two days ago (just as casino magnate Stephen Wynn's Picasso does post-patch). Certainly it's worth noting that the work is on a delicate old piece of fabric that must be handled with care and that could suffer further damage from being moved and handled during restoration. What I'm trying to say is this: since the painting is going to be visually the same, are people afraid of the monetary loss or does thinking about the fact that even timeless objects decay and get damaged make us fear death? I've always kind of wondered if the whole idea of restoration is largely about our fear of death; if stopping the decay on an object lets us feel like we're evading the reaper.

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