Saturday, October 23, 2010

La Grande Jatte

Today I found The Great Lawn. To be honest, I'm not sure I knew it existed. I'd like to say that I did, but if I did, I might be lying. And typically I only lie to homeless people - specifically the ones who appear thirsty for whiskey and ask if I have any cash on me. More often than not, I lie, and say no.

I didn't lie to any homeless people today, but I probably past by a few as I was running to Central Park. No one slowed me down to ask for cash, but even if they had, I would have been able to say no, in all honesty, because I typically don't carry cash on me when I'm out for a run.

So I arrived at Central Park, lie free, and ready to explore "the ramble.” I quickly got lost in the maze of trails, but it wasn’t long before I came to a grass clearing, and a sign declaring the field, “The Great Lawn.” It was rather great, in that it was really big. It was filled with people and activity and it immediately reminded of the painting made famous by the movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. If you’ve seen the movie, it’s the painting that Ferris’s friend Cameron stares at in The Art Institute of Chicago. And if you haven’t seen the movie, you need to… you’re missing out on one of the 80’s bests.

I somewhat foolishly considered that perhaps The Great Lawn inspired the painting. But after doing some Google research I learned that the artist Georges Seurat based his painting on the Island of La Grande Jatte, which is located on the Seine River in Paris, France – hence the name of the painting, A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of Grande Jatte. And, in pulling up the image of the painting, I quickly changed my mind about their similarity. Unlike the painting, The Great Lawn I saw in Central Park didn’t come with trees and a riverfront.

Regardless, I’m a fan of Georges Seurat - not necessarily because I love his work (I wouldn’t say that I do) - but rather I’m fan because he developed a new style of painting called pointillism. I love that he ventured out and tried something new. Seurat lived a short life, only 31 years, yet he left his mark. And I wonder how many of us are willing to explore and risk enough to do the same.


Tonight I attended a fabulous rooftop party in Midtown Manhattan. New York, I love you. God, I love you even more. Thanks for bringing me here.

1 comment:

laura said...

Can I just say I love your writing? I also remember pointillism. I think I hated it. I have also watched Ferris Bueller's Day Off, although I don't remember that picture. I think I may have to re-watch (darn!).