Looking at, looking at

Neue Pinakothek, Munich
munich. neue pinakothek, van gogh’s sunflowers

It’s 1 euro to visit the museums (a magnificent trio: neue pinakothek, altes, and moderne) on sunday. Not obscure hours when one might be stuck in the office anyway, but the big broad weekend awash in all the choices of city living. It was rainy all that weekend. Emerging from the u-bahn, skipping across quiet roads, i became aware of disparate individuals, couples, families with babies in strollers, converging around me as we headed museum-ward. I’m not sure if this is typical munich wet-weather pastime, but seeing communities choose these staid tomes in which to put both self and day was heart-warming.

Within,

at the halfway mark through 22 rooms, i broke. Some of these paintings took lifetimes to complete, and i was zipping past them like an ADD molecule. Sat. And realised another form of life and art going on. The movement of people as they arrange themselves among art, and fellow beings. Souls that plant themselves squarely before the art, expectant, willing. Tourists that remain adamantly tourist-like even in museums.

Engagement, between people, is pretty much a rare thing, we recognise the spark when we see it. Here, i believe, were a special kind of engagement also between people, not people vis-a-vis objects. It was as if the hand of the artist became immortalised in the painting, then waited, waiting through time, for someone to pause, and to commune with.

Do things only speak when we listen?

munich, neue pinakothek

Neue Pinakothek, Munich

Neue Pinakothek, Munich

Neue Pinakothek, Munich

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