Fame, it’s so Cool.

A week or so ago, I put this image up in my post about Axl Rose:

Faith Ringgold - Who's Bad.  1988

Faith Ringgold - Who's Bad. 1988

Then, yesterday, I walked into the Arlington Arts Center, and, there it was!

I wonder if this is sort of like the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon, but with real stuff instead of words…

Like tourists obediently bee-lining to all the “right” spots, or like Duchamp and Warhol with their Mona Lisa, there’s something about the first encounter with something you already have a relationship with (or a strongly conditioned knowledge of).

It’s even better when it’s a surprise.

I can still remember the week before I started my undergrad. at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (a.k.a. “the ‘tute”).  I went to wander around the museum, turned a corner, and there was Toulosse-Lautrec’s At the Moulin Rouge.  Like every high school kid who’s art teacher had never heard of the twentieth century, I thought Toulouse-Lautrec was just about the coolest thing to predate sliced bread.  Naturally, at age 18, I didn’t have any idea what was in the museum (you couldn’t look things up on the internet back then).  I went there, wandered around, and there was Lautrec’s coolest painting!

When I had a chance to visit the Prado, the surprise at “finding” Rogier Van Der Weyden’s “Deposition” made seeing it as memorable as the time I spent looking at Bosch’s more supremely famous “Garden of Earthly Delights”.

It’s all way better than a Brangelina sighting.

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