Barbara Pill is our BBB photo winner with " too many BBB, to few arms." She is a special BBB customer who, as one can see owns a few! Special because she has a great sense of art and personal style. I remember she bought one of my first leather bags for her daughter who is the curator of contermporary art at the St. Petersburg Fine Art Musuem. On the inside pocket I collaged an archival black and white print for some visual interest. She chose a print by German Expressionist painter Max Beckmann, a favourite artist of her daughter's. We had a good laugh as the other print I offered was of Whitsler's Mother. And my punch line : "do you want to see Whistler's Mother in the bag?"
Barbara's photo made me laugh, but I had this odd deja vu of seeing a painting by Jan Van Eyck: Portrait of Giovanni Arnolfini and his Wife. Painted in 1434 and hanging in the National Gallery of London. Now why would Pill's photo remind me of that painting? Not sure. Certainly not in subject matter. But perhaps it had something to do with the perspective, the light and the mirror as a focal point.
So naturally I googled the painting and I came across the oddest art criticism blog I have ever read since I stopped reading Art Forum about 40 years ago! Written by a 2nd year architecture student at the Edinburgh College in UK,, the blog entry is entitled "A classical conception of space". Check it out and compare " https://dmsp.digital.eca.ed.ac.uk/blog/bodytraces2013/2013/01/28/235/jan-van-eyck-e28098portrait-of-giovanni-arnolfini-and-his-wife_-1434-2/ It says:
Jan Van Eyck’s Arnolfini Portrait includes a beautifully painted mirror in the background in which we see the backs of the two figures who are facing us. Looking at it carefully we see the room in which they are standing, and we also realize that our own reflection should be there in the empty space. We are drawn into the work, because the artist builds our expectations but then denies us the sense of resolution.
Hmm??? Well, would you not say Pill's photo reveals a definitely modern conception of space with the ipad photogapher/artist all inclusive. The only thing missing in Giovanni's interior are some Brave Brown Bags!but they would need some more arms!!! Ho. Ho.