Monday, March 22, 2010

In case of fire or earthquake

Recently I wrote about a sculpture I love, and said that it would be the second piece of art I would save if my house was on fire. The first piece I would save is so important, I have always hung it near the front door in the four successive homes I have lived in since it was created in 1991. As I have told the artist, that's so I can easily grab it as I flee from the flames. Here it is, right beside the door:

The artist is my son, and the title is "My Fourth Birthday Party". But there is no need to tell you the title, because of course you knew it depicted a birthday party as soon as you saw it. Right? The orange birthday cake with glowing candles (very Dali-esque in perspective) gives the subject away:

The wild, fifteen-toed creature lighting the candles to the left of the cake is me. Clearly, my kid will spend many future hours on a shrink's couch dealing with mother issues. The happy person in red to the right of the cake is the birthday boy artist.

There are many gifts with lovely loopy bows and ribbons, which you can see stacked on the left of the painting. In fact there are more gifts than people, perhaps indicative of the relative importance of the former over the latter in the artist's psyche. On top of the gifts, depicted in orange with five legs, is the cat.

It was a sunny day, but there was also a rainbow, because rainbows are such happy additions to a party. The sun looks rather piqued about being upstaged by the rainbow.

If my house ever catches fire, or gets rattled in an earthquake, I will be standing on the street in my pajamas (such disasters are always at night you know,) clutching this masterpiece. Other than the people and the furry creatures, there is nothing else so precious in my home.



Carver said...

I would save that too. Wonderful artwork by your son. I think it's interesting how your son got the proportion (lengthwise) of the hands correct where amateur adults sometimes don't. It is funny because it's obvious when I put my hand over my face that hands can cover a face but I've looked at paintings and not been sure what was off until I realized the hands were painted as these itty bitty things. Your son as a young child instinctively has a feel for the proportions of the hands.

Voyager said...

Carver, the proportion of the hands may be sort of correct, but two people in the painting have no arms, and one of those does not even have a torso.

LadyFi said...

What a delightful drawing! So rich and varied in subject and colour.

Shrinky said...

Oh, this is nothing short of pure joy in paper form! What a wonderful masterpiece he's captured - and how astute of you to have the foresight to preserve it for future posterity! (If, as a teenager he ever makes you doubt your parenting skills, just turn him around and point him to this!)

Jazz said...

Gotta love childhood art! Really cool.

Anonymous said...

I think such items must be saved before all else. Those are our true legacies, after all. And I love the sentiment expressed about it.

Voyager said...

Lady Fi, unfortunately, some of the colours have faded over the years. I wish I had taken a photo of this drawing when it was first made and the colours were bright.

Shrinky, the four year old artist is now 23. How did that happen?

Jazz, few adult artists' works have such raw purity as a child's drawing.

Mrwriteon, you are eloquent as always, thank you.


Dumdad said...

You're absolutely right to grab this first as its unique. If you have the money you can buy Picassos or Monets or whatever takes your fancy but your son's work of art is irreplaceable.

Big Brother said...

Definitely worth saving... my twin grand-daughters each drew one the other day and they are sitting on the fridge. Definite masterpieces. :o)

Lee said...

Irreplaceable...and it's very understandable that you would save this masterpiece by your son. These precious mementos of a time too quickly passed are invaluable. There's not enough money in the world as substitute.

secret agent woman said...

Love the polydactyly.

Voyager said...

Dumdad, if I had a Picasso or a Monet, I would hang them fairly close to the door as well. But the "Birthday Party" would always hang closest.

Big Brother, twin grand-daughters!You will be blessed with many masterpieces. My advice: have a few framed.

Lee, how quickly the time has passed since he was four. Of course, there are joys of having a 23 year old son - his conversation, wicked sense of humour, and strong arms to help with heavy chores.

S.A.W. I think my son had the right idea. We could use a few more digits. I especialy could, since I rendered the middle finger of my right hand virtualy useless last spring by dislocating it and snapping the tendon. Surgery might help, but I don't want it. I've had enough surgery in my life.


Jocelyn said...

I love kid art in general, but this piece is particularly special. It's just COOL.

I'm really enamored of that sun, I must say!

Jocelyn said...

I love kid art in general, but this piece is particularly special. It's just COOL.

I'm really enamored of that sun, I must say!

tattytiara said...

That is magnificent - the art and the curator's notes!