Eleven years ago Richard Black took paintbrush in hand and changed the face of modern art forever…
Let’s take a closer look, hmm?
In the foreground, we’ve got a rather stern-looking woman in her classic LBD. She’s not a dame to be trifled with, by that look on her puss!
She contemplates life as she peers out over the ocean. Has she been stood up? Perhaps she’s just broken up with someone. Or is she angry that despite trying the controversial and painful hot-glob-of-tar-to-the-scalp treatment, at least one stubborn, hardy arachnid from that tarantula infestation on her head still remains?
And that churning sea — does it call to her? Can she sense Cthulhu beckoning through that vestigial tentacle she’s thrown stylishly over her shoulder?
Now as for the wreckage behind her: A Porsche has careened off the road, onto the sidewalk and crashed into the railing. The impact has caused the hood to fly up with enormous force yet instead of crumpling into a dented, folded, collapsed wad of mangled steel, it now resembles a sliver of uncooked beef at a Mongolian barbecue — a phenomenon someone with a better understanding of physics than myself could probably explain.
Did the driver, or driveh, as the vanity plate reads, survive? Is that him (or her) looking at the Woman at the Railing, or is it merely a pale, black-clad passerby, stopping to peer at the carnage inside, on his or her way to a beat poetry reading at a local café?
There’s no right answer. It’s up to the viewer to interpret the scene.
One thing’s for sure, though: If he did crash because he was distracted by the painting’s main figure — and he survived — he should thank his lucky stars. There was no way he’d have walked away from hitting head-on that enormous wall of matzoh bread that the road dead-ends into just a few yards farther.