They say art is in the eye of the beholder, which reinforces my view that poetry is in the mind of the readers. Here’s my proof the art statement holds true:
My eldest daughter drew a portrait of me when she was 5 years old. It was so good, I framed it. At the time, I was a single mom on a VERY limited budget. Instead of buying a new frame, I bought a piece of art at a thrift store, one that would fit the portrait inside the matting. The piece I picked held a matting that signed in cursive. I hung it proudly in our home and told everyone my five-year-old drew it and explained away the signature.
I started dating an art major sometime later. We were traipsing through Beverly Hills and wandered into a gallery that had Pablo Picasso line drawings for sale. There was a piece with strong similarities to the portrait I framed. My date asked why I was so taken with the piece, and I explained it reminded me of something my daughter drew. He rolled his eyes and started in on how every parent claim that their child paints like Picasso. This started an argument as I kept trying to tell him that it was more about the way the lines are drawn not the childish style and he kept claiming I was just a parent over-inflating my child’s skill. As we left the gallery, we agreed to disagree.
A month or so went by and I invited this man into my home for dinner. He walks in and makes a bee line for the framed art on my wall. His first sentence was “Wow. Who drew this? It reminds me of Picasso.” And as he’s studying the signature on the matting, “I don’t recognize the artist’s signature.”
I immediately started to laugh uncontrollably.
“Why are you laughing?”
“Because my five-year-old drew that. You know the one that couldn’t possibly draw like Picasso? Even though all parents say their kids draw like Picasso, you just proved mine actually does. Looks like I just won our argument.”
He didn’t stay for dinner.
That was one of the first instances where I learned that having a college degree doesn’t make you smart and sometimes it’s better to keep your mouth shut. I also learned that sometimes you must see to believe.
And for fun… how Twilight Zone hits this topic on the head!