Not quite the Guggenheim


in Daily updates

Columns outside the British MuseumYesterday, before the Strategic Studies dinner, I made my second ever purchase of original art of the ‘hang on the wall variety.’ It’s a moderately good imitation Rothko oil on canvas painting, which I bought for less than ten quid from someone leaving the country. Friends from Vancouver might remember the pastel on paper head that was my first such purchase. I bought him from Kate’s friend Neal Rockwell in Victoria for $10 about seven years ago. It accompanied me through living in Totem Park and Fairview Crescent: always glaring outwards with these shocking eyes that I nonetheless found fascinating enough to never regret buying the thing or having it around. I felt a real affinity with that haunted figure.

By comparison, this 50x60cm rectangle of differing reds with a white rectangle near the top is much less interesting. While it definitely beats the blank – and somewhat battered – wall that it is now covering, Antonia and I both noticed upon hanging it that it somewhat resembles a video iPod in proportions: with the upper white rectangle corresponding to the screen. Probably, it will take me a while to reach a comprehensive and final judgment. Like music, I can tell immediately if there is the possibility that I will really like it, but it takes me at least a week to determine if I actually do.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Milan June 14, 2006 at 3:04 pm

The signature seems to be ‘K. Hillmare.’ The person I bought it from said they got it in London, but I haven’t been able to find anything about the artist online.

Meghan June 14, 2006 at 7:02 pm

It does seem to resemble an iPod, but also could be an old-fashioned sash window seen through a red curtain, or something like that. It is certainly less eye-catching than your pastel glaring face.

Milan June 14, 2006 at 7:10 pm


I do miss the fellow. He will be in a box with photos, letters, and sleeping bags until at least summer 2007.

I sent off a response to your letter earlier today.

R.K. June 14, 2006 at 2:57 pm

Whose signature is in white at the bottom-right corner of your new painting?

R.K. June 14, 2006 at 2:59 pm

Also, having even less-than-brilliant original art is much more respectable than slapping up some print.

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