As a very young girl, about the age of six, I remember looking through my grandparents’ encyclopedia under “Art” and seeing a multitude of examples of what art is. I cannot remember what any of those painting were except for one, “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte” by Georges Seurat. I’m not sure what drew me too it at the time. It could have simply been the vibrant colors, the reds, greens and blues; reminding me of all the different color crayons I would use in my coloring book. But, looking back I think it was more than that.
I was drawn to it because there was a certain amount of wonder and curiosity as to who these people are, what they are doing, and more importantly, what are they looking at and thinking about? When I would find myself staring at this painting, I would find myself in it. I could relate to it. There is a familiar sense of belonging and not belonging at the same time. I could relate to feeling as though I was a part of something, connected to the beauty of the nature around me, but unable to connect and interact with the people around me. Maybe I could see that the subjects in the painting had a unity with nature but, not with each other. Maybe they were not quite different than myself.
I had completely forgotten about “La Grande Jatte” until I looked at the picture I took of the Golden Gate Bridge. It brought back the same feelings I had when I looked at Seurat’s painting. We were all there together looking at the beauty and amazement of what surrounded us, connected by our surroundings, sharing the same experience together but, completely disjoined in this experience. I look at the photograph and I am drawn to it because I find myself wondering the same things I did about Seurat’s subjects; who are they, what are they thinking about, and what are they looking at off in the distance? The only difference is that I was there. I know what they were looking at. You can see it in my post here. But, even with knowing what it was they were looking at I still find wonder and mystery in the photograph; I still find myself there in that moment, in the photograph, connected and yet disconnected all at once. It is my own personal “Island of La Grande Jatte.”