How many people, when finally placed in front of paintings they’ve seen for years in the pages of books and in their memory become so overwhelmed by the sensation of being physically with these artworks that they lose control of themselves?
I am one of those people.
I was a little girl in a big blue bow and black and white saddle shoes in a small schoolhouse in the Texas countryside when I discovered a deck of cards depicting famous paintings from Western art history. Gainsborough’s Blue Boy, Renoir’s lady at the piano, Rousseau’s desert sleeper- I examined these images one after the other, over and over. Each card contained another dimension where anything could happen. Were these places and things real, or were they imaginary inventions? Paintings were like a beautiful itch that I couldn’t quite scratch. Later on, I saw paintings from the cards projected in art history classrooms or, if I was lucky, hanging in museums. They were what I came to know as art’s masterpieces. Some of these very same paintings appear in the work of José Almeida Pereira.