So we have this decrepit old broom sitting by our garage. The handle has lost almost all of its paint and the bristles bend at a permanent angle. We use it in the winter to sweep snow off of things, but ever since I moved home from college, all I can think when I see it is Jasper Johns. I took a course in Modern Art this spring, and one of the pieces of art I had to memorize was Fool’s House, by Jasper Johns. Fool’s House features a real broom mounted on a canvas with gray oil paint and stenciling behind it. The broom in the work by Johns is old with bristles bent at a similar angle to our snow broom, so the one brings to mind the other. I just thought I’d share this amusing perspective on how the things we learn can color the way we see things in real life.
June 5, 2011