A Trip to Cloud City

We spent a mind-numbing amount of time in high school art class on Perspective. Taking our trusty ruler and making that tunnel of lines that met up at some mysterious vanishing point. I really wanted to get to the fun part. I wanted to color. I wasn’t as concerned with the dire mathematical implications of proper size and proportion.  But as boring as it was back then, I see the fun now. I’m always considering perspective.

How many different ways are there to change your vantage point? When you look at something from a different perspective, what vanishes and what appears?

I spent some time recently on the roof of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City at Cloud City by artist Tomas Saraceno. Every time I go to the museum I try to see something new or something I have seen before in a new way. A different angle. Different light. A different soundtrack. It never gets old. This time, looking at all the people gathered and the tops of sky scrapers reflected in the fragmented mirrors made me realize again how small and how large these days really are. Made me consider the distance between us and the clouds. The distance between us and each other.

We color in our experience by considering different perspectives.  When life imitates true art our lives grow more empathetic. Our senses sharpen. Horizon lines shift. We come out of that tunnel on the other side of the paper with perhaps a better understanding of geometry – maybe – but even more, something worth filling the page.

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