Lasting Link

A year ago…

A pair of girlfriends who seem to have known one another for a very long time meet up somewhere and they exchange gift bags. One of these two girls, the taller one holds a bag filled with goodies, random things that were just thrown together. The other girl, a shorter girl, hands the taller one a small gift bag, a small palm sized one. The taller one has on a face of astonishment, immediately assuming it to be jewelry, not knowing, without a clue as to what the gift might be.

The taller one opens the box in which the bracelet lay, and gently does she remove it from the packaging. The length of the bracelet is tanned leather. It is a dark shade of iguana green, while the connecting segment of the bracelet is silver, seemingly rustic in appearance.

The small charm that hangs from that silver portion is a cross. It isn’t a plain cross, it reflects light so well. It’s not gleaming but it’s shiny. It is a crucifix that is wrapped in rope near where the intersection of the perpendicular is. The taller girl holds the bracelet up to the light and looks at the charm, and the charm alone. She remembers Christ. She also acknowledges the fact that the friend who gave it to her isn’t Christian, but knows that she herself is. She puts on that bracelet and feverishly thanks her friend…


Present day

A girl peers into her bag and reaches in. It’s a mess of a bag, but it’s filled with all of her daily used items. At the bottom of this bag she sees a short silver chain with slightly rusted /worn edges and reaches for it. What she pulls out is a bracelet. It has silver chained ends and a green leather body. It’s very soft leather; it looks like it never used to be refined in any special way. It wasn’t like the commonly sold charm bracelets at Tiffany and Co. This bracelet looks like something from a boutique or a special stand in Union Square. She puts the simple bracelet on, placing it on her left wrist as if she’s done it dozens of times before and knows exactly how to lay it there so that she can connect the two ends of it and stick the short segment of silver into the loop on the other end. It fits perfectly on her wrist when she gets it on. She knows she’ll never lose it, but it can at times be hidden in the abyss that is her handbag…

Seven years later…

The new mother sits down in the rocking chair with her new beautiful baby girl. Her bracelet charm on her wrist swings back and forth with every gentle rock. The baby quietly goes to sleep and the mother dozes off.


Fresh Paint – Yolanda Chang

It Is So Last Century

It was a phenomenal event when Guernsey’s auction house helped Evansville Museum of Arts, History and Science realize that they had a mislabeled and forgotten Picasso stashed away in storage. Instead of the instinctual action of displaying it, the museum decided to sell the piece. The problem with “Seated Woman With Red Hat” was that’s type of artwork has not been on the market for almost 50 years and therefore a price tag would be incredibly difficult to estimate. This situation was described by Patricia Cohen in “Long-Forgotten Picasso Is a Museum’s Windfall.”

One can easily understand that there are many financial factors that go into this decision: the maintenance fees associated with upkeep of the piece in whichever institution it ends up in, the value of the piece in itself, the possible revenue it may generate for the institution, etc. The value of the piece cannot be determined by its appearance alone; the value of the piece brings into mind the value of its creator.

The break in price agreement between art analysts and auctioneers is that this piece holds a value that changes with time. The deep-rooted respect that the world has for Pablo Picasso and his work is arguably enough for the market price to be around $30-40 million, which has been estimated according to the article. People are willing to pay exceptional amounts of money to see a skewed conception of a mistress, purely because a man who obtained increasing amounts of credibility over the course of history painted her.

The style of the piece is not originally Picasso’s. It is a gemmaux, which “are made of multicolored pieces of glass, layered and then fused together with liquid enamel.” This technique, when on display, plays around with light and is intensified when subtly illuminated from the back. A French artist named Jean Crotti, who, subjectively, is not as famous as Picasso, developed this technique. Picasso and Crotti lived during the same generation, from the late 1800’s to the late 1900’s. They probably were friends who exchanged ideas for their art. If one were to view some of Crotti’s most widely known works, there are abstract pieces that are more oriented toward geometric figures. When Picasso uses the gemmaux technique on the mistress, he uses geometric figures but adds on bolder strokes of thick black. These strokes arguably accentuate the piece.

In art, as like in fashion, there are in seasons and out seasons. What was “in” during the 50’s has gone out at the turn of the 21st century. Pieces such as Mona Lisa have stood unchanged and have never been devalued, but in our contemporary world, art has to become “modern” and transcend the “classical.” The pricing of the “Seated Woman With Red Hat” is still to be determined, but the question stands: do you feel that classic art pieces should never go out of style? Or should the spotlight of the art world be shifted away from our ancient Greats and move toward more contemporary pieces?