Friday, December 8, 2023

The Moda Lisa


I have been holding out on showing my portraits of library workers with their spirit animals here for reasons already recounted in previous posts. But I knew that the time spent on this project would surely wear away at the dividing line between these pictures and the demands and interests of this creative space.

And so it is I find that while I would love to start a 47 part series here on the virtues of the movie Moonstruck, I am too busy adding turtles to pictures of student workers and Library Associates to avoid the compulsion to show from this series of photography instead.

However, I'm neither going to explain those positions at my library nor show those particular pictures, just yet.

Something else happened.

The precipitating event that broke down my walls was a secondhand report from my colleagues that a patron came to the front desk, where a picture of one of my co-workers holding a monkey was featured, and asked:

"Is that The Mona Lisa?"

The Mona Lisa?

Of all the unintentional things in art I have done, this is perhaps my favorite.

For me the resemblance starts with something about the eyes, but for others, and I can see this, it is in the enigmatic smile that I have never entirely been convinced is a smile.

Here is the original to set the stage:

And now, a portrait of a library worker, a co-worker of mine, with a monkey.

I'm actually not sure how much she likes her portrait, or of her choice of a monkey.

This is called "Mod's Monkey", but, of course, it is "The Moda Lisa".

Or... it will be.

I think you can see the resemblance, or I hope so. This is where we were in our process when a library patron called it The Mona Lisa.

Of course, writing about it all here I couldn't help but try to take it one last step further.

This then is the real Moda Lisa:

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