I noticed that Eugene put up a few new photos in his photoblog. One of them reminded me of an episode last year when I was living in grad student housing. We had a study lounge in our building, and I would go there to study and do work every now and then. One time I was in the room with an art history grad student that was reading a book called A Theory of /Cloud/: Toward a History of Painting. I got curious and asked him to explain what he was reading, but I didn’t get much from his response. Nevertheless, I smiled and nodded before returning to my work.
My lack of understanding hasn’t impeded my ability to enjoy paintings. While a work of art might contain hidden meanings behind a haze of symbolism, it can be fun to invent one’s own interpretation, which may be as unintended as seeing the face of a person in the shape of a cloud. For instance, upon seeing Frederick McCubbin’s Home Again at Federation Square, I made the following leap: the husband’s been away for more than nine months.