Looking at People Looking at Pictures
I took two glorious trips to the Louvre today. On the first, I hung out with old friends (Mona's looking spry, and still guards her secrets, Nike of Samothrace still threatens to soar).
On the second, I found myself a voyeur of those who look at pictures.
I thought about those who merely look, usually only long enough to frame up a cellphone composition and pout lips themselves into a Madonna or Venus pose before jogging along to the next 'must-see'.
So I decided to try my hand at the latter. And maybe take a selfie or two. Because. Facebook.
I mostly voyuered among the ancient Greeks and Romans. A good spot to show some (alabaster)skin without risk of censorship on social media.
A poui de deux
I have to wonder if Venus de Arles politely declined what must have been an offer to join in a Rococo dance step as the Goddess and her visitor mirrored each other 's gesture. After all, both held Apples in their right hand. In the marble version's left, a mirror. (insert your own irony here)
Okay, say "Cheeeeese!"
I almost invited this entire Venus de Milo fan club to join me at the back of the 100 BCE sculpture.
From my vantage point (snagging a pretty good group photo, if I do say so), I was able to catch a sculptor's sketch of a foot, concealed by drapery, just a beginning of a step, a casual shift of weight. It seemed to carry a bit of slow motion indifference in it's form, contrasting with the paparazzi clamor before it.
But if I had altered the usual meeting spot, the club's president would never have managed (after 4 valiant attempts) to capture his own timeless WASSUUUUUP! moment.
It's possible, I like to imagine, that some slowed their documentation of the Louvre highlights to relate to the simple act of adjusting footwear. Could their journey to Paris, like mine, have been riddled with constant stopping to tie a shoe or pull up a sock? Perhaps you found that human act a way to physically link yourself to a man who wandered a road over 2000 years ago.
A few selfies may have accidentally included this indescribably tender moment between an infant Baccus and the elderly Satyr to whom Zeus has entrusted the child (Zeus's wife Hera was in her tiresome killing spree period). Did you ever see an old man hold his grandchild? Do you know just a little of this responsibility?
Like most, I was disturbed by the eerie fragment of a child on the back of his mother. A hand was all that was left of this clinging baby. But don't let the moment your child sat back to back with another's ghost creep you out. Weird stuff just happens.
I'll have an Amber Light beer, please
Between efforts to capture one's own best self in that perfect frame, DO catch the bath of amber light spilling across faces before the Louvre's windows. The same light moves through the impossibly translucent marble wings of Canova's Cupid.
But I seem to remember you can get that filter effect on your phone, too, though. So no worries.
I believe this is with just the "Chrome" filter. As you can see, pretty much the same effect. BTW. You didn't cut off her arm in the picture. She was like that.
I'll look for pictures of my fellow visitors' Louvre trips on Facebook. It'll save me the €15 entree fee I will need for my Amber Light habit.
Keep looking. Keep seeing.