A Painting that tells a different story to everyone who views it…ART FOR WRITERS
Last week’s offering (A Victorian genre painting) was almost hyper realistic. In contrast, Jack Yeats makes the viewer do a lot of work. This is an ambiguous painting and the title raises more questions: That We May Never Meet Again
Is it a defiant declaration or an unspoken sadness? A wish, a promise, a foreshadowing of an aching loss?
The painting hangs in York Art Gallery and Adam Alcock commenting on it in 2012 suggests that the second figure “could be the other’s reflection, he is painted in lighter, rippling colours. He is frailer, somehow older than the younger man in the foreground.”
To me the guy in the hat is the older of the two and there’s nothing frail about the other one. He seems more confident, his focus is elsewhere, concentrating on what he is about to do, his future.
How do you see these two figures? What’s holding them together for this fleeting moment? What breaks them apart?
Jack Yeats, by the way, was the brother of the great WB Yeats. AND the first person to win an Olympic medal for Ireland. He won a silver medal in the arts and culture segment of the 1924 Games…oh, I wish they would bring that back.