I came across these striking sculptures today by Andy Hall, called Shapes of Time –
And the character, Peter, was thus born –
“That’s my friend Peter – he’s pretty out there. He spends his days inventing a new “time piece”, he calls it; a new way of conceptualising time. He’s welded together an obscure metal shape with cubic angles and star shaped holes cut out on the sides. He says that if you place it outside, unobstructed from shade or shadows, you can sense the time of the day by the way the light pokes through the holes and scatters onto the ground around it. Some say it’s missing functionality, such as if it’s a cloudy day, but he’s insists upon its accuracy. He says the hard thing will be getting people to understand time in a new light – it won’t be recorded in seconds, minutes, hours and days, but rather in units he refers to as “essences”; though which he refuses to conclusively name, the rationale being that when you name something, it confines your imagination to that. When the light is shining through in such a way, that’s when we know we need to be at work, just as it shines in another way, we know it’s around dinner time. Like I say, Pete’s an interesting guy, and you’ve got to admire his unique style of thinking, his attempt at breaking the convention of one of the most accepted things, which is of course, the passage of time. He is both hopeful and hopeless in the most enigmatic way.”
After failed romances with boys in her class, Adèle was beginning to fear true love would never present itself. That is, of course, until she walks past blue-haired Léa one day, and experiences firsthand the phenomenon referred to by many as “love at first sight”. With the stars aligned, she comes across her shortly after at a club and ignites an upward trajectory of passion and desire. Wretchedly the girls don’t escape the common fate of many relationships; distractions emerge and passion fades. Be prepared for a hot and heavy heart as their world falls apart in front of you. This is one of the best love stories ever written – a film so beautiful, it will move you to despair.
True to form, Donna Tartt begins her story with the current state of things – Theo Decker as an adult, sweating and bloodied in an Amsterdam hotel room – leaving the remainder of the story to reflect on how it all unraveled.
When a New York art museum is bombed and 13 year old Theo survives, he crawls out unscathed, albeit with an item he didn’t possess upon entering – The Goldfinch, by Carel Fabretius – a masterpiece so valuable it is rendered priceless. This event instills in Theo a burgeoning interest and appreciation for art; and is one that will inadvertently dictate the rest of his life.
Told retrospectively through the eyes of Theo, the story traces his journey from the aftermath of the terrorist attack to which his mother was a victim, to growing up in Las Vegas with his alcoholic father, and his return to New York where he grapples with his unrequited love for Pippa and a dubious career in antiques dealing.
The secret of the stolen painting haunts Theo, yet with everything else he has endured – years spent grieving the loss of his mother, followed by crippling loneliness and a heavy drug addiction – he derives a sense of meaning from this deep, dark secret.
With an introduction spanning 500 pages, this book is quite the tease, though Tartt’s extraordinary prose and eloquent passages make it an enjoyable one. The final chapter turns beautifully poetic and philosophical, with references to dreams and reality and the spaces in between. It is both easy to digest and frustrating at times, though on reflection I can assure you will look back on The Goldfinch with great fondness.
A passage on Theo’s love for Pippa –
“And the strange thing was: I knew that most people didn’t see her as I did…Angrily, I concentrated on her flaws…yet all these aspects were to me so tender and particular they moved me to despair. With a beautiful girl I could have consoled myself that she was out of my league; that I was so haunted and stirred even by her plainness suggested – ominously – a love more binding than physical affection, some tar-pit of the soul where I might flop around and malinger for years. For the deepest, most unshakable part of myself reason was useless…Everything about her was a snowstorm of fascination…We belonged together; there was a dream rightness and magic to it, inarguable; the thought of her flooded every corner of my mind with light and poured brightness into miraculous lofts I hadn’t even known were there, vistas that seemed not to exist at all except in relationship to her.”
– Page 462 The Goldfinch
Shot by Powell in her Upper West Side apartment during her two year relationship with Basquiat, these photos are an intimate glimpse into the private life of a true master –