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Walking Through a Door

What is the collage, “Walking Through a Door” about? At first glance, all we see is a young person with a red hunting coat and black boots walking through a door. Hinges, door wells, steps, doorknobs, ceramic tiles and black doors are in his way. He pushes through all of it. A halo of colorful balloons enshrines his head.

In art, what we first see is the obvious, which is exactly what the artist wants us to do. But he also wants us to sit a while, contemplate the details of the work, and try to imagine … is there a story behind this? We each provide our own stories when we read art. The stories may vary over the years, as our attitudes and perceptions change. When I first saw the Mona Lisa, I thought it was a story of a beautiful young woman sitting in a garden. When I see it now, decades later, I imagined she is a somewhat older woman, a bit balding perhaps, a bit annoyed by having to sit. Feigning a smile.

In this collage, I see a young person with facial features that are still childlike, but with a body that is gawky and large. I remember when I was a teenager, this was my situation. Our bodies grow, but we are still children at heart. The young man is wearing clothes that are too old for him, possibly purchased by his parents or a hand-me-down from an older brother or cousin. The clothes constrain him, overpower him. He is, however, majestic in how he holds his head, as if his mental state is above the constraints of the clothing and the demands of his elders. Thus, a colorful halo around his head in sharp contrast to the dark wood and metal bars that surround him. The woods and hinges and sharp geometric tiles are all obstacles, put he pushes through them. He has opened the doors and reveals light int eh background, a light that will shine his path. In the end, the collage is one of youthful liberation.

This is my current interpretation of the collage. What is yours? Let me know.


(c) 2021 Ernesto Beckford

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