Back when I was a child in Georgia, my school had taken me to the High Museum of Art in Atlanta. This was the place where I felt the most comfortable with my often eccentric thoughts and ideas. Armed with a walkman, I would peruse room by room, listening to music, and lose myself in the vaulted white walls that carried frames of contemporary art for me to contemplate. Art, back then, did not register as a thing to understand historically, but rather they were elements of introspection for my child self. Each canvas was like a mirror that showed me what I was really supposed to see. Each canvas was a sounding board for my infantile emotions.
I never registered much beyond that until I turned that fateful corner one day, and my eyes car wrecked into a Roy Lichtenstein painting. I saw this woman, splattered with dots, crying over her lover. My eyes could not take in what I was seeing and I felt my heart disconnect, reconfigure itself, and jumpstart my body into a million chills. This was the first time that art and I connected beyond the self.
My teacher eventually found me 45 minutes later, still staring at this piece.
“There are so many other rooms for you to see” she said.
“Yes but I can’t stop looking at this painting. I like this one the best”