A Study in Red IITuesday, March 24, 2020
Recently, Julian Barnes has published a new book, The Man in the Red Coat, with a striking cover that features John Singer Sargent’s full-length portrait of Samuel Jean Pozzi.
On my bed table I have a pile of books by Jerome Charyn, Jorge Luís Borges, Emily Dickinson, and Julio Cortázar. Do I have the time to read one more Julian Barnes? Should I buy it?
|John Singer Sargent’s portrait of Samuel Jean Pozzi, the ‘disgustingly handsome’ French gynaecologist nicknamed ‘L’Amour médecin’|
Perhaps I will if I can clear out the pile including Cortázar’s Rayuela which is a struggle to read. I believe it may be more difficult than Finnegan’s Wake.
With my friend, local painter, Neil Wedman, I share a liking for the realism of Winslow Homer, John Singer Sargent and Edward Hopper. I am wondering if he will be tempted to buy the Barnes novel.
In our home we have a piano room that features a red antique reclining chair, a red psychiatric couch and a 100 year old Chickering restored with red felts and the piano bench is red, too. In the last couple of years I have come to prefer the term vermillion (Bermejo in Spanish). And here more photographs in red in the piano room.
When I saw Sargent’s portrait I immediately knew that in my files I had some pictures that featured that colour. At the end of the 90s I took photographs of a lovely woman called Leslie (also known as Salem). In one of our sessions she appeared in the red dress.
I believe that people who are not photographers may look at a scene and or a person in their entirety. Are we, the photographers, or painters, the ones who crop and section what we see? Can three of the transparencies here have any meaning or purpose all by themselves? Or is the insertion of Leslie’s face then the only justification to show those three?
If I am thinking about this it may have all to do with the idle time we have in our social distancing which helps me to reflect, perhaps of matters of no importance.