As a trend forecaster, I spend lots of time looking at products. I consider their shape, color, texture and whether or not they indicate something about the future. Of course, all of this relates to commerce, but in a way, it is about art as well.
I wish I had more time for the real thing, for museums and galleries. Whenever I travel I do my best to squeeze in one visit, no matter how short, to a place where I can connect with art. When I was in Paris last month, for example, I spent a couple of hours at the Louvre on what turned out to be the first Sunday of September. Did you know that admission to the Louvre is free on the first Sunday of every month? The place was packed. Everyone seemed to be walking where I wanted to go. Still, I managed to visit the Mona Lisa again, which was one of my primary reasons for going.
Mona Lisa has always been a favorite, and I like to visit my favorites when I can. I started do that as a young adult when I discovered that some pieces at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts were compelling enough to draw me back again and again. I still make time to look at two pieces every time I am there. One of them is Tornado Over St. Paul, a brooding landscape depicting an 1890 storm (see picture above). The other is the Jade Mountain.
Last weekend, my daughter and I went to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts together. She had an assignment for her class, Art History Survey, that required her to spend time in the Asian Rooms and I was more than happy to go along. I had a chance to show her Tornado Over St. Paul when she was done with her required work. She didn’t come right out and say it, but I could tell that she did not like it all that much.
That’s OK, though, because she fell head over heals for Jade Mountain, just as I did at about the same age. She took some time to get to know it and chose it as a subject to write about for her next class. It was fun to see her connect with a piece that I have loved for so long. In introducing her to it I sensed that I was passing on some sort of tradition, and I liked the way that felt. Here is a picture of Biz taking notes for her class in front of the Jade Mountain.