Sunday, December 10, 2006

The Magic Of Rodin

VE was strolling alone along Piccadilly on Saturday afternoon (a vile experience in the run up to Christmas, but P wants a Savile Row shirt to be waiting under the tree and it had to be done), set to dash into the Royal Academy of Arts to pick him up a birthday card, when An Extraordinary Event happened.

First off, a Complete Stranger approached me in the courtyard by Rodin's impressive "Gates Of Hell" sculpture. As if that wasn't bad enough (this is central London after all), said stranger thrust a card into my hand and offered me a free ticket to go and see the Royal Academy's Rodin exhibition... for nothing... right now... he just has a spare ticket and doesn't want to waste it.

So I took it and thanked him very much, and as the Complete Stranger headed off to join the throngs on Piccadilly, I watched him, slightly dazed by this unusual turn of events. And then headed into the Academy, scrutinising the card he had given me as I went, assuming it to be some kind of con. But no... I showed it to an assistant, who thrust an e hibition guide into my hand and told me to bypass the queues and go straight in. So I did, baffled.

Now, I admit that I don't know a lot about Rodin - although I've seen The Kiss, The Thinker and The Gates Of Hell before (possibly in Paris, or maybe London?), and I did a mini project on him for my A'Level English coursework (although, as far as I know, Rodin is better known for his sculpting than hhis writing - don't doubt the minds of Yeovil College English Department).

And I also admit I wasn't hugely in the mood to see an exhibition (but I was of the opinion that An Opportunity had come my way and that if I didn't follow it up, something bad might happen - or, conversely, something really good might happen if I did follow it up). So I kind of whizzed through the whole thing in about 20 minutes (philistine, I hear you cry) and only stood to stare at the major works. And anyway, in my opinion, there is something Wrong about galleries hanging doodles drawn on the back of envelopes and labelling them 'important works of art' when the artist in question probably wishes they had been burnt as no one was ever meant to see them - and there were quite a few of these in place.

Anyway, it turns out my card is a magical one - and I, and whoever I pass it on to, can go to see the Rodin exhibition for free whenever they choose before January 1. So if you're interested, let me know. Otherwise, maybe I'll go again when I've prepared myself better for it and study him properly.

No comments: