Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Art in the Open, Hidden
Has anyone else read Gene Weingarten's Washington Post story about world-renowned violinist Joshua Bell playing a Stradivarius while incognito in a rail-station in Washington, D.C.? Basically, Weingarten got Bell to agree to play for an hour in disguise as just an ordinary busker. The results, needless to say, were extremely surprising...
I have to admit, I was quite moved by this story. Although I think the reason has something to do with the way that we recognize (or, more often, fail to recognize) something beautiful even when it's right in front of us, what really got me were the stories of the few people who understand, even if only on some intuitive level, that what they were seeing was indeed something special and out of the ordinary. The fact that the people who stopped to watch don't fall into any specific set of racial, gender, or age categories makes me want to speak in flowery language about the power of art to transcend boundaries and reach people that don't even care to be reached, but I'll restrain myself. Still, good article. Well worth reading.