Kelvingrove museum is one of my favourite places in Glasgow. It’s always worth a visit if you’re in the area, even if just for a few minutes to grab a coffee and soak up the stunning architecture around you. I had no idea, but apparently the museum building is based on Italian palaces in the Italian baroque style, which I see now that its been pointed out. I also wasn’t aware (thanks Wikipedia) that Kelvingrove is the second most visited museum in the UK outside London and the most visited attraction in Scotland. And no wonder! the place is beautiful and the exhibits are amazing.
One of the things I love the most about Kelvingrove, like many of the museums and galleries in Scotland, is that it is free to the public. This isn’t because of the generosity of some rich collection owner, but because all the art in Kelvingrove is owned by and on behalf of the people of Glasgow. That’s right – if you live in Glasgow you own that art, so go and enjoy it! (if you’re that way inclined). I’m as working class as they come, but after learning about my joint-owned art collection I took a day out to admire the paintings.
I’m a big fan of Salvador Dali, and have been since I was younger. I was totally unaware that his painting Christ of St. John on the Cross (click the link to see the painting) was part of the Kelvingrove art collection. I’m not religious at all but this is one of my favourite paintings. It’s unlike any of his other paintings and Dali wasn’t religious himself, so the painting’s contents are out of character for him – at the time he was better known for artsy surrealist films and a slew of weird advertising appearances. I love the perspective Dali uses in the painting; this is just my interpretation, but by placing the viewer above Christ, looking down on him as he looks down upon the world, Dali seems to be speaking to the man-made nature of religion. Specifically, I think he’s pointing out that man created Jesus and therefore man is God, and that’s why the viewer (‘man’) is placed above Jesus in the painting. Just my interpretation, of course, and I’m definitely no art expert.
On an unrelated note, I’ve been doing a lot of black and white photography lately. The problem I always find with this is that I start building an unconscious bias to black and white and forget about colour altogether, then I always get to a point where I’m stuck with indecision about which to use. This is definitely one of those situations… Black and white or colour?
More pictures of Kelvingrove to come…