I feel like a kid who has tasted candy for the first time. Last night, I traded my Dominic original for a Kelly Koeppel original. And I haven’t been able to think about anything else since.
I spent two absolutely brilliant hours last night looking at Kelly’s collection and talking to her. I will try to recount some of the more interesting aspects of our conversation in the next few posts. But let me first talk about her painting.
That’s a picture of Kelly’s painting right above the Dominic. It is in my not so humble opinion (IMNSHO) fascinating. It is fascinating in its own right. But what makes it even more fascinating is the fact that Kelly hates it. The artist hates her own painting. And yet, I love it. She told me that other people love it as well. The artist hates it; and yet other people love it. The implications of such a state of affairs have had me pulling my hair out ever since.
The most obvious feature of the painting is the blue outline of the outstretched legs, stomach and breasts of a woman as seen from that woman’s point of view. If you loosen your eyes a bit, though, you can look at that outline in different ways. The outstretched legs look like two fingers being held up in a victory sign. And if you really let your imagination run wild, the outline looks like the elongated ears, top of the forehead and sunglasses of a Donnie Darko style Easter bunny.
The blueness of the outline stands in edgy contrast to the orange and brown background. The contrast gives the impression that Kelly took an old painting and painted the outline on top of it. This, Kelly told me, was a deliberate effect.
If you look closely, you can see a barely visible face in the orange background. When I first saw the face, I thought it looked like Jimi Hendrix. But the more I look at it, the more Christ-like it looks to me. Of course, the face is abstract enough that you can see what you like in it. But the combined effect of the barely visible male face below the seemingly out of place blue outline of a woman’s breasts, stomach and legs really is quite striking.
As I said, I think Kelly’s painting is great. And I love the way it looks on my wall. So let me take this opportunity to thank Kelly for her painting.
Moreover, I am inclined to think that I made a good trade. The Dominic original was great. But this painting is to be sure a trade up.
Or is it?
Ah. Nothing in life is simple. Before going over to Kelly’s I would certainly have been convinced that trading the Dominic original for her painting would be a ‘trade up’. But our conversation has made me question whether I really did ‘trade up’. After all, if she hates her painting, what does that say about its real value?
Indeed, our conversation threw me into a state of confusion about not just art in general but also about my new and improved plan to get a Van Gogh. Kelly raised some difficult questions about the plan; and now I am no longer convinced that it is a good one.
I will try to explain the source of my confusion in the next few posts. And in the process I should get to talk more about Kelly’s painting and the fact that she hates it.
But until then, let me once again thank Kelly for trading with me.
And let me take this opportunity to say: if anyone wants to trade for this Kelly Koeppel original, let me know.
AMANDA C. MATHIS
5 weeks ago