When I took an art appreciation course in college, I figured it was an easy-peasy way to kill a couple of credits and catch some shut-eye to make up for the endless partying at the Orange and Brew (popular hang out where the bartender gave me free drinks in exchange for impromtu Spanish lessons.) I planned to breeze through this class, and not let it really sink in. I had no idea art would change my life so profoundly. I immediately fell in love with a masterpiece. A sight to behold, a glorious creation of flesh and bone, and his name was Professor Young.
After our first meeting, I lovingly nicknamed him Professor Yum, and made sure to sit waaaay up in the first row, 5th seat over, so I be could be ultra close to his desk and enjoy the fragrance of his aftershave for those precious 50 minutes we shared 3 times a week. Unfortunately, Yum was too busy drooling over the works of brilliant artists (and visiting his fellow teacher wife on campus) to ever notice me in my tattered GAP sweatshirt and knock-off Birkenstocks I only wore in the hopes they would make me look more “artsy” and desirable.
I later discovered what really made me crush on my professor was not just his longing hazel eyes, his full lips, or that honey-colored curl that would fall ever so gently over his left eye when he was engrossed in lecture –it was his deep passion for art that made him truly irresistible. He would say inspiring things like “close your eyes and imagine for a moment a world without the brilliance of color, would you want to live there?” I would go home on a cloud and quickly became an admirer of art, in all its breathtaking forms.
Art tastes change with age, and I no longer purchase “posters” of great works to hang in my dorm room. I do what I can to enjoy them with the naked eye and savor the moment. I am quite familiar with the Louvre after several trips, spending hours in a daze admiring the fragile frescoes, bonding with the armless Venus de Milo and the headless sculpture of Samothrace, and wishing I could be alone in that grand castle for just one night without the commotion of the never-ending crowds. I live just blocks from The Met in Manhattan, and I’ve purchased original works from hopeful, nameless artists on city street chasing their dream.
Pictures are always nice, but as my dear professor would say.. art really lives in your soul.