Mona Lisa and other masterpieces


About the music: another version of Monteverdi's so beautiful Ave Maris Stella (from the Vespro Della Beata Vergine) by William Christie and friends

If any form of culture merits the opprobrium of elitists, it is the visual arts. Works of art are spread around the world, are priced out of sight, and many are in private hands, rarely or never seen by the public.

A work of art that is housed in a museum can only be seen by physically visiting the museum, then hoping it is on display - most museums show only a small fraction of their works - and then often coping with crowds to actually get a good view of the piece (which increasingly is protected from vandals by glass).

Let's say that I want to see Las Meninas, the great Velasquez masterpiece in the Prado. I have to get on a plane and fly to Madrid to see it (as Donna and I did six years ago). The Mona Lisa? Hop back to the Louvre in Paris. Seurat's A Sunday on La Grande Jatte? On to Chicago's Art Institute. (Source)


Stereoscopy and some modern (computer) technologies make now possible to print big reproductions of famous artworks after a true remastering (a sort of E-restoration) as they usually do in the music industry, and to display them everywhere: at home, in the office, at the dentist or the physician, in the subway, at the post office, the bank, at school, etc.: as far as possible from museums, art galleries, and from Christie's or Sotheby's, then art democratization means all the contrary to canned art.

But, why stereoscopy? would someone ask me. Because all people on earth have not the same taste! All in all, I hate the "art" of Jeff Koons, because I consider him just a garbage maker and conterfeiter, just a joker benefiting from a huge media coverage, as other jokers were incensed in their lifetime, and then they died and disappeared from the memory of the people! But I conceive that some people adore those ugly plastic or porcelain things! Koons has recently got a long exhibition at the Parisian Centre Pompidou. Of course, I did not go there at all because I am not going to waste my time with that sort of bullshit! Anyway, I am certain of one thing: we are not going to see Koons in the Louvre in the future because from the day on when Koons enters the Louvre, I stop visiting this museum, and, for sure, I'll not be the only one! Of course I am joking. Because there is no modern art in Le Louvre; but besides that, I consider those folks smart enough to be aware that Louvre means a home for masterpieces, not for garbage!

By the way, should anyone tell me that there was a huge audience at Centre Pompidou for Koons, my only answer would be that anyway, MacDonalds is the biggest restaurant in France (the country of Trois-Gros and Bocuse) and in many parts of the world as well, with other words the chain of restaurants with the most clients. Does that prove anything to anyone?

Stereoscopy? It is quite the same problem: there are haters, and lovers (especially children). It is simple: put 3D glasses on their nose, and you will see them approaching the painting, after having just discovered details, which would have escaped them without the glasses. Besides that, stereoscopy is made on copies; we do not distort the original work; if you want, for instance, to see my stereoscopic version of the Luncheon on the grass by Manet, but in its original 'appearance', you just have to remove the glasses! Where is the problem?

So, let's consider Leonardo's Mona Lisa. It is surely the most visited painting of the Parisian Louvre; a rather small painting as if Leonardo had run out of paint. But the genius of Leonardo cannot be reduced to Mona Lisa, can it? Besides that real sub-cities as Le Louvre, Prado, National Gallery ... display a great deal of amazing paintings and artworks that cannot be contemplated within only one day visit! And, that is the very reason why art cannot be confined in museums, which seem to be reserved for a small minority, and avoided by a lot of "ordinary" people who feel allergic in front of everything that has some link with "Culture"!

What about flamenco, jazz, rap or hip-hop? Aren't they parts of our (world) culture too? And why should they be confined in any museum?

To be honest, I love to be in places like Le Louvre or the Prado, but I am at the same time aware of the fact that I belong to a little group of people with university education. It should be, therefore, our goal to help 95 % of the people having never attended any art gallery nor exhibition to understand and love masterpieces like Mona Lisa and, for that purpose, museums alone are not enough!

Magnificent artworks that let us see (almost!) exactly what the painters actually saw, and all that requires neither sophisticated alarms, nor safes, nor expensive insurance, nor guard! Isn't it amazing?