A couple of weeks ago, Ony and I went to an art opening at Duncaster Retirement Home for our good friend, Mr. Martin Bloom. We were invited by Mr. Bloom himself, and were more than eager to attend and show our love for his impeccable art. We were not sure what to expect, maybe just a few people here and there, or perhaps the place would be full of delighted onlookers. As we made our way through the (our future) retirement home, we were enthralled to see it was the latter. Here, my friends, is our story presented for you.
wearing: a black asymmetrical top, lace skirt, pink cashmere ruffle cardigan, + perfectly worn brown equestrian boots
I’m not sure why it has taken me so long to appreciate art the way I do today, but I repeatedly kick myself over it. I love the way art has transformed right in front of us; we are able to see how more and more artists are smudging that bottom line of what people believe is the definition of art. Mr. Bloom’s artwork was first welcomed into my life as I was beckoned to the library by Ony for an exhibit in the lobby. “There’s this one piece I need you to see.” Six months later, a long story, a lunch, and one collage later (the first one shown), we found ourselves to be utterly in love with Mr. Bloom and his wife, Lynn, of fifty-three years.
After we quickly said hello to the Blooms who were beyond ecstatic to see us (Mrs. Bloom even called us her husband’s “royal fans” from across the room), we made our way through the collection. Let me first mention that the type of art Mr. Bloom creates is something we’ve never seen before. He is a collagist (I am not sure if this is a real word, and am happy happy that I do not have to say this out loud because I’m not even vaguely sure how to pronounce it). He makes the most magnificent pieces of art from tiny pieces of paper. Paper of different shapes, sizes, colors, textures. They were gorgeous. A lot of the pieces we saw at the exhibit, we had already seen when we were invited for a lunch at their house a few miles from school, which in turn made me giddy.
I think we were the only two people under sixty who had the pleasure of viewing this artwork. As we strolled around looking at piece after piece, my glances started drifting from the pieces to the onlookers. My thoughts began to wander as I tried to wrap my mind around the fact that every person in the building has already lived the majority of their life. Not in a sad kind of way but in an interesting thought-provoking kind of way. Each and every person had most of their story already written whereas the two of us haven’t even begun to scribble down the first page. It amazed me how full of life everyone was, and I know that’s a little presumptuous to assume elderly people aren’t always bubbly and happy, but that’s sadly what some people think. As Martin gave his talk to a crowd of forty or so, his wife interjected a few times with some witty remarks only increasing our love for the pair. At one point, Martin was unsure of how to describe his work to which Lynn chimed in with “you might say it’s cutting edge.”
wearing: white button-down, navy and pink striped tie, heather grey cardigan, charcoal slacks, derby shoes
I’ve never been one to go against my core ideologies; do not do to others what you would not like done to yourself, listen first talk second, never wear white after labor day, and most importantly there is no such thing as love at first sight.
To me love has to be developed over time through, thick and thin, good and bad. Love just can’t be thrust upon you all willy nilly with little to no background or even a preconceived notion of the subject. However, the first time I saw Martin Bloom’s collage in the Homer Babbidge library I was forced to throw that mindset into the wind. My admiration for art is quite simple. I can’t do it, therefore I respect it. My mind cannot fathom composition and contrast, tint or texture. There is just something so inherently appealing about accomplishing a task I can’t begin to define.
Since I’ve laid eyes on that first Bloom collage I’ve been a fan of his, as Emily said fast forward a couple months and that collage is in my possession the first piece of my ever expanding art collection (although 10% of it belongs to Emily). So needless to say receiving a personal invite from Mr.Bloom himself was an honor equal only to my eventual knighthood (more on that later). Though the exhibit was in a retirement home the atmosphere was lively. There was a long hallway carefully populated by Mr. Bloom’s best work. As I made my way down the corridor I meticulously dissected each and every piece, in a constant state of amazement of man’s ability to create. In the background, I faintly heard the whirring of Hoverounds and Emily describing the pieces to me from the description in the pamphlet. But I couldn’t pay attention, my one and only thought was “how”. How can man, the one creature with the ability to create such aesthetic pleasantries in one hand be so quick to destroy them with the other? How can art be adored by many yet unappreciated by so many more? And how can I, a mere 22 year old manboychild, find his place in all of this? Such introspective thought was far too much for one event, next time I’m just going to look down the hall and fall in love all over again.