When I was a kid, not much older than Mr. C, my grandfather would often take me to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. We would take the subway into Boston together on Saturday mornings, trying to leave as early as possible. I think we were trying to get to the museum early since he was able to get in for free as a senior citizen for the first few hours the museum was open on Saturdays. I of course was free as well, being about 4 or 5. We would spend a few hours there, and then go to the North End of Boston to get a slice of pizza. He was an amateur artist himself, spending as much time as he could painting in oils. He especially liked Picasso, Joseph Turner, and ancient Egyptian and Roman art as well. He would sit on a bench in the galleries of the museum and admire the paintings or sculptures, and point out details to me, tell me about the life story of the artist, or about the culture where an art work came from. I would sit either next to him or on the floor, holding his twill fedora hat, listening as closely as possible, at least as closely as a 5 year old can. I can’t imagine I sat still all the time, but I do remember a lot of those stories.
By the time I was six, I’m sure that I had been to the museum many more times than I had been to Fenway Park to see the Red Sox. I may have known more about Cubism than I knew about baseball by the time I was six too.
While I’m definitely not an artist myself, I have a great deal of admiration for artists. Some kids wanted to meet the famous sports stars when I was a kid, I wanted to meet Picasso.
So imagine my pride when Mr. C showed me his first drawing of a human figure today. A self portrait. He likes to work in Red Sharpie. It must be his ‘Red Period’. There’s two eyes in there, the other one is behind the red hair.
“I drew this for you Dada!”
“It’s a picture of me!”
He followed that up with this one below.
And the last one, a picture of me. Notice the family resemblance?