The first time I saw an image of Picasso’s Three Musicians was in high school – a picture in my English text book. I was totally captivated. It began a period where I read up on Picasso’s career pretty extensively. I really fell in love with his blue period. I liked it much more than his cubist stuff in fact. But I always came back to his Three Musicians with serious love and affection.
When I happened upon it in real life, upon my first visit to the MOMA many years ago, I stood in rapt attention in a way really no other picture has grabbed me before, nor after. I really can not tell you why this painting affects me in such a way. It just does. I have seen it maybe 8 times since that first time and each time is not different, my pulse races a bit and my eyes widen, I am content.
Even though I am far more interested in other artists today than Picasso, this painting still brings a great amount of joy. Perhaps more than any other painting I’ve ever seen.
So yesterday, on what I am assuming will be my last ever visit to the MOMA, when I stood in front of it I was swept up with an amazing bittersweetness. My back uncurled, my shoulders arched back, and I just tried to breathe it in, capture it in my lungs for safe keeping.
Knowing that it was just a subway ride away has always made my days here better. Easier.
Knowing that I have perhaps seen it up close, in person, for the last time is a striking blow. I mean at least I have seen it, but it just is another reminder of just how much I am giving up by leaving the city I love to live a healthier life else where. And right now these reminders are filling the air I breathe in a distressing manner.
The days in NYC have been muggier than ever this summer. And now I wonder if the real weight of the air is all that I know I will miss when I am gone, an emotional humidity, if you will.