Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Looks Can Be Deceiving

"I saw this unsigned and unattributed painting the first time I was at Jim's house. It was prominently displayed in his living room, and I quickly deemed it the ugliest thing in the entire house. I must have walked past it a hundred times during all of our visits there to remove his collection. At each pass, I would I crane my neck to catch a good look at it, often thinking, "Who is staring at who?" 

Fast forward a few weeks. This painting popped up a few days ago in Judy’s studio. Then something happened to me that I did not expect. I realized I was positively happy to see him, and that I missed him.

Here is my take on this big sad man. I think he's a 1930's-era gypsy. He's the strongman at a carnival. It's the only life he has ever known. He is getting on in years but still ringing the big bell - except it hurts now with every swing of the sledge hammer. He's loved by the other Carnies but somehow he is lonely.

His ugly face became beautiful to me as I could see the mix of pride and sadness. Something happened to him but I don't know what it was, and never will. I just know his sadness is much bigger than just his life with the carnival. Perhaps he lost someone special? What I do know is that I love him now and am not sure I will be able to separate myself from the ugliest painting from Jim's house." - Peter Smith