Looking at art with Ernie

Co-visiting the Art Institute with my stepmom, who couldn’t make it for obvious reasons…

This past Tuesday, my stepmom Ernie passed away. I got the news as I was checking into a hotel in Chicago. A good friend of mine, Doug, was up there for an LGBT Law Conference, and I had decided to venture up there. I have been out of NYC for a while and really needed to see a friendly face from there. As there was honestly nothing to do at this point for her physical being, I decided to treat her soul to some art. I had wanted to visit the Art Institute, so I decided to devote part of my visit to her. This meant going to look at a lot of Impressionist paintings. Frankly, this was a lot more Impressionist paintings that I would look at on a normal visit; give me a nice Yves Klein Blue to stare at for an hour and I’m happy. Impressionism is a little heavy on the pastels for me, but I loved the woman. I can deal with pastels out of love. I learned a term when I was in Museum Studies: CO-VISITING is the notion that most people don’t visit a museum alone. There is not only a conversation going on between the viewer and the art; there is also a conversation between the viewer and his the person standing next to him. This was a great way to connect with Ernie. I flashed back to every Christmas when she would open the gift from her sister Nicole. They exchanged calendars every year, and it always seemed to be some sort of Impressionist calendar. I think they even gave each other the same one one year. Enjoy.


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