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April 2017, vol 13 no 1

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Peter Newton

Vanishing Point

“Art History for Beginners” was supposed to be an “easy A.” A low-credit, summer survey for students who needed to up a GPA. But this man was a pro. He introduced us to color and perspective like they were long-lost family. He made me fall in love with a still life.

one orange
beside a pitcher of milk
where the light rests

“Scared money doesn’t win,” he walked in saying. Exuberant. Excited to be alive. I think he went on to talk about Miro’s frequent insistence of red or maybe it was how Van Gogh transferred the frenzy of the sun into every flower. Hard to remember the exact details. But I remember the entrance. The energy. Easily in his eighties the man was all-in. Fearless. We were a bunch of not-yet sophomores who had yet to cross state lines let alone oceans.

chocolate and cognac
all you need
to climb the Matterhorn

Every now and then his voice reaches me sitting quietly somewhere, minding my own business:

“'Why do two colors, put one next to the other, sing? Can anyone really explain this? No.' No they can’t. And that’s not me talking. That’s our good friend Pablo asking you this question.”

true divided light
each pane
a portrait