Thursday, April 30, 2009

States of Mind

I love art or music that tells a story. Perhaps this is because I love writing and storytelling, so in my mind all forms of art tell a story, you just have to uncover it.

This week I went to MOMA and searched for my three favorite paintings: States of Mind by Umberto Boccioni. They were not on view and my week has been slightly out of whack ever since. I felt discombobulated, sort of like when you go to Alice's Tea Cup and they're out of your favorite tea. Sure, you can always try another, but it's never quite the same.

Anyway, back to Boccioni. The reason I love these paintings so much is the way the individual images evoke specific emotions while the sequence creates a narrative. I find it especially interesting the order in which the paintings are presented. First you have the emotion of saying farewell. Then you accompany those who are leaving on their voyage, but in the last painting you come back and see the image of the ones they left behind. I could drone on for hours about these paintings, but instead I'll stop and let the art just speak for itself.

Umberto Boccioni, States of Mind I: The Farewells

Umberto Boccioni, States of Mind II: Those Who Go

Umberto Boccioni, States of Mind III: Those Who Stay


  1. I can't believe I couldn't help you remember his name. I love his work too. In fact, I used one of his sculptures as inspiration for the most successful play I produced; a contemporary reimagining of the novel Brave New World by Aldous Huxley.

    Here is a picture of the Boccionisculpture:

  2. Thanks for the link! Don't you love it when you find works of art that inspire writing?