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Art is Everywhere. Really.

Looking at the Unbearable houseguest's blog this morning ... no, wait ... that's gonna get me in trouble. He's not unbearable (far from it, he and his Mrs. Wife rate very highly on the "favorites" guest list here at the B&L B&B in fact, he's one of a two-toed sloth's pawful who have seen all three incarnations of the London branch), it's just that "The Unbearable Banishment" is my pal's nom du blog and he chooses to remain anonymous, so we'll just call him Unbearable. Either that or Francine. I think he'll prefer the former.

Anyway, I was reading Francine's Unbearable's recount of his recent Courtauld visit this morning and it reminded me of a new conspiracy theory I'm adopting.

Exhibit A:

This is hanging at the Courtauld.

follies.jpg

I know for a fact that I've recently seen this painting somewhere else (although I haven't a clue where). The Tate? The Royal Academy? I remember listening to an audio guide and thinking how sad she looked, and commenting how horrible it would have had to be to get all dressed up like that just to tend bar. I have never been inside the Courtauld (although apparently it's a must see).

Exhibit B:

Well crap, I can't find an image. I'm thinking about a Rembrandt I saw during our tour of Buckingham Palace on Friday afternoon. There's an old man sitting at a desk.A rather masculine looking woman has entered his office and is handing him a note. The painting caught my eye because I KNOW I've seen it before (and, surprise as this may be to some of you, I'd not been inside Buckingham Palace before). For some reason, I'm pretty sure I saw it (and heard about it on an audio guide I do love me an audio guide in a gallery) in Amsterdam last spring when CB and I were there.

These are only two of many examples of an increasing trend: when I go to a gallery (which isn't all that often), I'm overcome with a sense of deja view.

I propose that there are multiple copies of these treasures hanging on carefully lit walls across the globe, in an attempt to give the masses a sense of "wow, I've seen a masterpiece." Because really, would the average punter in the world know the difference between an original and a well-made replica? And surely there are replicas everywhere, for a myriad of reasons (ie, copying the masters to improve one's skill, hiding originals from thieves, the joy of having a beautiful painting before the lithograph was invented).

Surely I'm not lucky enough just to be in the right place at the right time when all these priceless masterpieces are packed up and flown off to various galleries/museums around the world for "special exhibitions"?

I. Think. Not.

Because really, how green would that be? Why isn't anyone talking about Manet's or Rembrandt's carbon footprint?

It's a conspiracy, I tell you. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to pitch a new screenplay to Oliver Stone.

:: :: ::

Speaking of art ...

Before I go, I just have to tell you that Sophie Thompson (who I did not know was Emma's little sister until I looked up that Wikipedia link; talent can be genetic it seems) gave one the of the most brilliantly hysterical performances I've ever seen in The Female of the Species. At a matinee with a less-than-packed house. Well into the run of the show. She was outstanding. It's only on for a few more weeks. Tickets are easy to get and are at the discount booths. Go. Go. Go.

This is the third time I've had the pleasure of seeing Dame Eileen Atkins on stage, first in Indiscretions in New York and then last year in There Came a Gypsy Riding at the Almeida. She is simply a pleasure to watch, has never embodied the same character twice (a none-too-subtle difference between being an actress and a movie star) and (if it weren't for Ms Thompson).

When I finally sit down and write that play about the two are-they-crazy bag ladies, Dorothy and Alice, sitting on a Central Park bench and reminiscing in Beckett-Pinter dialogue about their childhood experiences, I would love to her be Dorothy. Maggie Smith and Judi Dench can fight it out for Alice.

I guess I'd better get on that.

Now then, where did I put Mr Stone's number?


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