Figure 16.1: ‘Last Dance 3’: A masterpiece by Joanna Pechmann
Copyright 2010 Joanna Pechmann
Two other impressive pieces entered our home in 2010. I have, for several years now, been fascinated by the works of Edward Hopper (1882-1967) (see link below), but it took until October to acquire anything bearing his name. In my view, no contemporary artist ever explored the themes of solitude and desolation as successfully as Hopper did. His most famous painting is Nighthawks (1942), which was ubiquitous throughout American university campuses in the 1950s and 60s. My own favourite, however, is Summer Interior (1909) (Figure 16.2), partly because the depicted model bears an uncanny resemblance to my other half (!). We purchased a print of it, on a neat 30’ x 20’ box canvas, but hung it in the privacy of our bedroom so as to prevent everyone scanning the semi-naked woman and asking my partner, in all seriousness: ‘Is that you?’
Figure 16.2: ‘Summer Interior’ by American enigma Edward Hopper
Our third acquisition was a cheerful watercolour by an English artist called G B Cattermole. Viewed from the left bank of the River Dee at Chester, England, it depicts the famous Groves esplanade, which is one of my favourite places in the entire world, never mind just my birth county. Unfortunately, there is no digital image of this painting available, but this classy shot (Figure 16.3), taken by photographer Ian Price (see link below), captures the scene to perfection.
Figure 16.3: Queen’s Park Suspension Bridge spanning the River Dee at Chester – and a photograph which does the place justice http://www.flickr.com/photos/ianpriceuk/4254084487/
Copyright 2010 Ian Price
Reproduced by kind permission
To the far right of the picture, beyond the bridge (built in 1923) and neat avenue of trees shading the terraced seating at the water’s edge, there is a quirky little retro café called The Blue Moon (see link below). Entering this small hideaway represents an authentic step-back-in-time to the days of early rock ’n’ roll. Its walls are adorned with 50s and 60s pop memorabilia, and there is even a 1961 Ami Continental jukebox. Music of that era drifts from unobtrusive wall speakers, and there is also a single screen showing monochrome videos. Oddly, though, the sound and visual footage play independently of one another. The raucous, close-to-breaking voice of John Lennon yelling Twist And Shout might well be accompanied by images of Gene Pitney crooning Twenty-four Hours From Tulsa. One would have to be drunk not to catch on to the discrepancy; although even when sober, it still takes some getting used to.
As 2010 finally takes its bow, I thought I might also answer a few questions that have been raised since the birth of this website. Firstly, to everyone on the lookout for further acrostics: just to save you the trouble, there will (probably) be no more. There! More seriously, interest in these short pieces has exceeded both my hopes and expectations. The ‘Profile’ page alone has attracted an average of 1,400 hits per month; and, of the articles themselves, numbers 2, 10, 12 and 13 have proved the most popular to date.
What more can I say, other than Happy New Year?
Copyright 2011 Paul Spradbery