So I've never really been huge into art. I don't know what to make of some of the things I see, I don't understand what some artists are trying to say with their pieces, I sometimes feel like anything can be art, so therefore I wonder if anything is actually art...or maybe everything is...including me...since I was created...by something other than me. Anyabstract, art is not something I ever really considered. I know when I like a painting, and know when I want that painting on my wall, and that's about as far as art and I have gotten...not even to first base.
For the past 3 years now, my friend Jessica and I have been talking about going to the Art Institute. Yeah, I know that's a long time to discuss something as easy to get to as the Art Institute, but life and boozy good times kept getting in the way of the learning. After 3 years of all talk, no action(gee, that sounds like some high school relationships...HEY OH!!!), today is the day that we finally made that learny-shit happen.
Jess led me through the 'stute, I basically told her I was her bitch and she could just lead me around like a dog. I was surprised at how literally she took this, showing up with a dog collar and a leash, but J is literal like that. She took me from favorite thing to favorite wing, starting with Contemporary, ending with Impressionists. She wanted me to see the things she liked, show me some stuff she thought I would like, and just give me a great taste of the art world. We were getting ready to leave when she remembered there was one more painting she wanted to show me. She couldn't remember exactly where it was, so we were going to skip it when we saw an information desk. PS...the lady at the 2nd floor Information Desk right outside of the area where that park painting made soley of dots is had me wishing that she had been my teacher throughout my life because she taught me the ins and outs of the museum in under 2 minutes. Seriously, I don't think I've learned more so quickly in all my life. So thank you, stranger lady with the mad teaching skillz...thank you.
This right here, this is the painting that Jessica wanted to show me. This painting, upon first glance, gave me the willies. It's big, and tall, and dark, and scary, and there's a woman's withered hand just visible near the side, and it's from your point of view as you look at it, so that's you looking at the door, at the eerie, tall, dark door. While I was creeped out by this, I was also somehow drawn to it...mesmerized...creepmerized, I suppose. As I stared at it, Jessica told me the name of the painting: That Which I Did Not Do I Should Have Done(The Door) by Ivan Albright.
We walked out of the museum through the ancient Buddhist statues, we talked about the painting some more, and she said something like "Yeah bro, it's like, I never want to be an old lady, with that hand, holding that handkerchief thinking about the things I should have done, but didn't. I mean, he could called that painting 'I tried my best', but coming at it from the negative, it's a much different thing"...dag, she's right.
That painting, that's what regret looks like. That's what not sending your resume to the job you've always wanted but been too scared to try looks like. That's what saying "no" to skydiving looks like. That's what deciding not to go to college because you're too old looks like. That's what not enjoying a meal in a restaurant by yourself looks like. That's what not finding something to look forward to every day looks like. That's what deciding not to take the vacation looks like. That's what missing a legendary concert because you don't like crowds looks like. That's what being moved by someone but being embarrassed to tell them looks like. That's what walking by the celebrity without saying "hi" looks like. That's what not giving someone that last hug looks like. That's what living in a constant state of negativity looks like. That's what being scared of holding babies looks like. That's what being scared of rejection looks like. That's what not laughing loudly and raucously looks like. That's what not getting the tattoo because your grandma will hate it looks like. That's what putting off the Second City writing classes looks like. That's what not telling your parents you love them looks like. That's what not telling anyone you love them looks like.
That painting, that is what regret looks like. A stunning, and deeply moving painting of what regret looks like. I highly recommend you check it out next time you're there. And I highly recommend you don't become what that painting looks like. I know I'm going to try my best...