April 17, 2004

Then, Back To Tag

On the most temperate day the season has offered thus far, the sidewalks of the city were dense with people flashing smiles and glimpses of too long covered flesh gratefully receiving the sun's warmth after the Winter's slog. It was a welcome weekend urban bacchanalia to counter the traumas of the headlines and small print.

While walking, I found an open bench on the perimeter of a playground on Chrystie Street. There I could lean into the sun and work in my sketchbook. At one point - I was a bit slow on the uptake - I realized I had company. Four boys had called a halt to their game of tag to investigate the stranger in their midst. They had been watching me draw for a while. Speaking as a unified entity they, in turn, asked questions and quickly surmised their own answers.

"What's that? It's a girl. Snaaaaap! What's that? A mouth. It's ugly. No it's not. Snap! Do you have more? Oh, snaaaap! Snap! Are you an artist? Snaap!..."

Flipping through the sketchbook, the boys' excitement rose as their intrepretive facility in reading the drawings' vocabulary grew more confident. The chorus of snaps escalated in frequency and boldness.

A consensus developed that, as an "artist," my skills would be well employed in the service of drawing a motorcycle, and then a car. Part party-trick and part command performance of the highest order, I set to the task with lightening speed. The emergence of each recognizable detail was accompanied by exclamations of its identification. In the seconds when it was decided that the car should be generously festooned with flames, every line of fire drawn brought forth instantaneous approvals of "Snap!" and the satisfaction that comes with having one's vision made manifest.

This is the motorcycle. This is the car.

Posted by mark at April 17, 2004 11:48 PM

Snap! An exciting demonstration of how art is part of the inner stuff of kids...as well as art criticsim

Posted by: dan at April 26, 2004 10:40 PM