Friday, February 02, 2007

portrait of a young man as an artist

David drew his first self portrait last night. First, he drew a sort of oval shape that was slightly angular at one end. This was inside a larger, incomplete oval but I don't know if he considered that part of the composition. He declared this to be himself. I complimented him on his work and asked where the eyes are. He drew two circles next to each other near the top of the inner oval. I asked where the nose is. Another circle near the center. Then,I asked about his mouth. For this, he scrawled a wildly crooked and off-center line near the bottom and off to the left, giving the impression of a smirk with some serious attitude.

Here is the very cool thing: he did this on the bottom of the bathtub. He has washable crayons that are made for the bath and draws all over the bathtub and shower. I've never seen his draw under the water, though. He was sitting in the tub and just drew this on the floor of the tub in front of him. I thought about trying to get a photo of it, but as soon as he was done, he began scribbling over it. By the time his bath was over, the drawing had been washed away completely.

For me this was a perfect piece of art--like and icon only truly exists in the space of prayer or a mandala until the sand is dumped into the river, this existed for just a moment, only the two of us saw it, and then the piece, with the moment, was gone without pretension of permanence or importance. A photo would have spoilt it.

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