Walk: Hood Errands
Distance: 2.5 cold windy miles, Home Yoga
Henri Matisse, Girl with Green Eyes, 1908, oil on canvas, 26" x 20"
We all have those favorite things for which there is some but not complete accounting.
Forty years and more, and still this is Ciwt's favorite painting at SFMOMA - maybe anywhere. It's famous for several reasons: that straight ahead bold stare, the patterning being as strong a subject as the person, the colors, the fact that this just is not how portraits were done until Matisse painted a few in his brash fauve style.
But for Ciwt those aren't the reasons she is so deeply involved with it. What they are are a mystery to her; attraction has its own reasons as they say. She used to go to the original SFMOMA when she was new out here and just look at it. Then she bought a poster which eventually faded, and she named one of her cats Matisse after the girl because the cat was pretty and had green eyes. Then she bought a small, excellent copy, framed it and put it on her desk by her computer. Finally (for now) a fabulous, full size reproduction hangs in her bathroom. Girl with Green Eyes is like a part of her for some reason, and she's so glad the original lives right here in San Francisco where she can look time and again and watch each of Matisse's brushstrokes and color choices come alive again.