Sunday, May 1, 2016

Feeling a Bit Morbid

Where: National Portrait Gallery

When: through May 31, 2016

It feels as if I've seen a lot of "In Memoriam" pieces lately.  Famous people have been dropping like flies.  I know they tend to die in threes, but I think it's been multiples of three this year.

The latest star to fall from the firmament is Prince, so I went to see his portrait this week.  (If I'm seeing depressed, imagine how the people who have to put up and take down all these artworks must feel.)

What I found most interesting about the photograph is that it's in black and white, which I thought was an unlikely choice for someone as colorful as Prince.  In fact, I'd been thinking that many of his songs involve color ("Purple Rain," "Raspberry Beret" and "Little Red Corvette").  So why did Lynn Goldsmith choose to use black and white to depict him?

Otherwise, I think the picture is quite good - I like the vaguely rain-like background, and the designs on his jacket seem to mirror the look of his guitar (which may be the same guitar now on display at American History, just FYI).  I was also struck by the serious expression on his face; perhaps meant to reflect the artist behind all the flamboyance?

Verdict: Worth a look on your next visit to the Portrait Gallery.

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