The Art of Love.

I went into the Weinstein Gallery on Union Square in San Francisco on the eighteenth of April 2008 because I saw Chagall in the window. A. Lot. Of. Chagall. Works I’d never seen before. As I entered, just on the threshold, a man approached. I thought, that’s it, the game’s up, I’ll not get anywhere near these art works as he’ll know instantly that I cannot afford a single one. I took a deep breath, went straight for honesty and told him that I was there simply as I had a love affair with Marc Chagall. He didn’t mind. Quite the opposite was true. Patiently, he told me that all the art came from private collections and was for sale and that anyone was free to come in and appreciate the works before they disappeared into the next private collector’s hands (or safe). The man’s name was Carlos Saura. We shook hands. I told him more of my love for Chagall and my recent visit to Musée Marc Chagall in Nice. Then, he took me upstairs to where I could be alone with the art works. After a while, I couldn’t tell you how long, I emerged. I was literally glowing. Carlos was waiting; we walked and talked. I learned more of the man whose work I’d fallen in love with and more of his peers. Carlos’ admiration lay primarily with Picasso and, when I asked him, he explained why. We also talked of Andy Warhol’s impact on the art world; how nothing would ever be the same again. As we walked through the beautifully curated collection, Carlos asked if I enjoyed the work of Joan Miró. When I replied that I did indeed, we went down to the basement, where an exhibition of his work was in the process of being mounted. The room was busy, all those working there were smiling. I was given a private view of the works, back to front and back again – some with private messages written on them by the artist. Eventually, after my private tour, I had to take my leave and head back out into the tourist crowds on Union Square to reach my apartment. Once again, we shook hands. Only this time Carlos shook hands with a much wealthier woman. His knowledge and my experience that afternoon had enriched me.

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