Over the bus sound system in Tokyo, they were playing Maurice Ravel’s “Bolero as I was heading towards a Piet Mondrian retrospective at the Meguro Museum of Modern Art. As it is raining, I can’t really can’t see clearly out of the bus window due to the heating system in the bus makes the windows foggy. I use my hand as a window wiper, and with the music, I go back and forth accordingly to its seductive rhythm. Since it is nighttime, the mixture of neon lighting and the headlights of the coming traffic give a visual that is blurry, with respect that all the edges from objects, including pedestrians into an expressionist painting. So unlike Mondrian! I just wonder if he was on this bus at this very moment, what his thoughts would be.
Once I get off my bus stop, I realize that it was a colossal mistake, due that it's freezing and I’m not wearing the proper clothing for this type of weather. It’s wet, and I shouldn’t be wearing a lightweight v-neck sweater and open sandals. What was I thinking? My need to wear what I think is fashionable is always a major problem for me, with great respect to that day’s or night’s weather. I have a tendency to ignore whatever the temperature is or if it's raining, snowing, or sunshine. I wear what I always want to wear and damn everything else! I think i 'm trying to go for a Jean Marais “Orpheus” look, for tonight’s opening at the Meguro Museum. Once I got in, I realized by the way people who were looking at me, that I appeared to look stupid. One should not go to a Mondrian opening looking soaked and for god sake wearing open sandals. What was I thinking?
Since I was by myself, I walked around the gallery looking at the paintings with a profound expression on my face. I don’t normally have an opinion on Mondrian’s work, but before I checked out of the house tonight, I practiced in the mirror various expressions while looking at a painting. For sure I just wanted to look smart, and if possible, handsome. But it's really weird that how you look at yourself in a mirror is quite different from how people look at you.
Nevertheless, the exhibition was excellent. My life is just so chaotic, so actually looking at a Mondrian painting gives me a sense of peace or security. The same goes for Ravel’s “Bolero” because musically it goes towards a certain distance, and doesn’t let you off till the end of the piece. What I like about art is one that leads the viewer/listener to a plateau and lets you hang-out before you go back to your messy and unorganized life.
Afterwards, feeling cold, wet, and not-that-hot looking, I went to an Asakusa music hall, where they had a tribute to French song and dance man Philippe Clay. I always loved him, because he was so unusual looking, and tall. He’s renowned for doing songs by Boris Vian and Serge Gainsbourg, but somehow never got the proper attention in the United States. In other words, he went off the map. Another artist/writer I like is Georges Perec, because his writing is very formalized in that it is a puzzle of sorts. Like Mondrian, he was a self-contained visionary who sees the world as one vast workable structure of some sort. Sadly I am totally the opposite. I’m reminded of that fact with the feeling of cold rain water smacking against my toes, due to my open sandals, on this very rainy night out in Tokyo.