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Thursday, February 2, 2012

Currently Hanging/Happening: Gay Marriage in Washington and John Singer Sargent

Posted by on Thu, Feb 2, 2012 at 1:07 PM

Seattle artist Marie Gagnon (the viaduct painter soon moving to the East Coast, unfortch), also happens to work at the Pride Foundation, and she sent me a note this morning.

Yesterday I arrived with my coworkers at the Capitol in Olympia to witness the historic Senate vote on SB 6239 for marriage equality. It was a powerful experience and I hope to share more about it after I’m rested. (I've been working 12 plus hour days this week.)

But very late last night as soon as I uploaded my photos and saw this particular photo I immediately thought of one of my all time favorite paintings, The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit by my art god, John Singer Sargent. I studied his use of whites quite a bit during my research fellowship in the late '90s.

In addition to the similar composition, I was powerfully struck by the idea behind the two pieces: Anticipation.

The painting has a sense of four young girls possibly unaware of their anticipation for their burgeoning maturity whereas my photo depicts a conscious anticipation for the evolving maturity of our society as we work to embrace greater justice for all people.

  • Marie Gagnon

  • John Singer Sargent


Comments (13) RSS

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I agree, a great photo and the correlations between the painting and photo are very strong. Excellent!
Posted by LMcGuff on February 2, 2012 at 1:29 PM · Report this
that's just....underwhelming.
Posted by on February 2, 2012 at 1:32 PM · Report this
Posted by mt on February 2, 2012 at 1:37 PM · Report this
Interesting! I like it.
Posted by MLM on February 2, 2012 at 2:07 PM · Report this
tdalec 5
Great pictures, both.
Posted by tdalec on February 2, 2012 at 2:10 PM · Report this
Jubilation T. Cornball 6
Extraordinary. A great artist and a great moment in state history. Cool, Jen!
Posted by Jubilation T. Cornball on February 2, 2012 at 2:12 PM · Report this
I'm impressed that after working 12 hour days she was not only able to notice the lovely similarities, but to put her thoughts into cogent form!
Posted by -ink on February 2, 2012 at 2:13 PM · Report this
@7, it's essentially been the only articulate thing I can do today. I just stepped out of a meeting where I really couldn't form the words I desired. And thank you.
Posted by Marie on February 2, 2012 at 2:30 PM · Report this
Sargent sure knew his way around oils. I love his stuff too.
Posted by jasonsewall on February 2, 2012 at 2:47 PM · Report this
jen graves having studied the heck out of some sargent and wasted plenty of time on slog thank you for this-great-parallel.
Posted by grace on February 2, 2012 at 4:58 PM · Report this
brocaine 11
When I approached this ptg at the MFA last time I was there, I remembered that it was between the two vases depicted in it, noticed that I was nearly touching one, and kinda started crying - it's such an art history sucker punch.
Posted by brocaine on February 2, 2012 at 5:26 PM · Report this
@11: Once I move to Providence, I look forward to again spending more time studying this Sargent painting. For a realistic work, I find it to be quite abstract...the large black square of the shadow and that luscious red stripe of the curtain. To this day...17 years later, I'll never forget my experience of walking into that room in the MFA that housed the painting, along with a few others of his. Sargent is meticulous with faces and then goes to town in a luscious painterly fashion while painting fabric. And his handling of whites is simply brilliant. So much color, life and light in his whites.

Posted by Marie on February 2, 2012 at 7:59 PM · Report this
Great post! It's interesting to see the "after" photo as well for comparison, posted on Equal Rights Washington's facebook page:…
Posted by elaineinballard on February 3, 2012 at 9:04 PM · Report this

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