The Park by Gustav Klimt is on the fifth floor of the MoMA. It hangs by a window in a small room you enter past long walls of Van Gogh and Matisse. The tree trunks and the endless body of leaves partition your view of the park beyond suggested by slender trees in the background. From a comfortable distance, the painting is green and yellow like a summer day.
But if you step closer to the painting — maybe you were pushed by the crowd, or were perhaps on your way to the window — the body of leaves reveals itself to be a crowd of individual leaves each with its own color and stroke. There are as many leaves and colors in the painting as time Klimt spent painting it.
I was one such viewer who hovers over the painting up close. Had someone who was particularly fond of Klimt visited the MoMA that day, found her way up the escalators and through the hallways to the small room, she would have had to wait a long time before she could see it. She would have had to be satisfied with Adele Bloch-Bauer II, which failed to do much for me that day. I was dumbfounded by the way an array of colors becomes a harmonious painting. I stepped back to look at it again from a comfortable distance and saw an entirely different park.
And as any good sources of inspiration should do, the Park influences me in my work and the way I think of colors. Now I know that there are more colors in a park than our eyes can see.
- The Ana Banana Team