Guido Molinari came to speak and present his work to the Fine Arts students of Okanagan University College in ‘98. I was such a student. His mind and thoughts and words were so interesting to me, I could have listened to him for hours. “On cassette” I said for some reason when we talked. Ha! What even.
He spoke of seeing and understanding things in the only way we can – from our own perspectives. We each have our own reality. He spoke of a fly’s reality. Of a pigment’s reality, and how the blue “felt” between the other blues adjacent to it. He was, at this point, making humongous paintings of blue grids, all different hues of blue, and others red. Huge.
I went to the gallery three times before I “felt” something. Staring. Trying to “get it”. And when I did (because I did! Ha!) the feeling was strong enough to make my soul want to paint. Not just my hands and eyes. You know. It’s like hunger, or thirst.
Anyway, I met him at the opening night of his exhibition. When I went up to thank him and bid him goodnight, in French, and he realized I was a “Québécois” like him, he proceeded to ditch the woman draped in pearls and furs he was talking to and her equally fancy male date, and walked me to the door, arm draped over my shoulders. I forget what he spoke of on the way. But I felt special, I did! And I wished for a mentor, then, walking home in the dark. How cool that would be, I thought. Then I forgot about it.
Five years later the stars gave me my mentor. I visited a new little gallery by the marché Maisonneuve, with my husband, pushing our one-year-old in a stroller. I was floored by this man’s work. The curator said “come back on Sunday and listen to the artist speak.” Normally I’d have been satisfied with drinking everything up with my eyes, but I remembered Molinari, and how interesting he was. I couldn’t even imagine how fascinating this new-to-me artist would be. His paintings made my brain cells dance and sing and sigh. So I went.
Well, long story short, I got my mentor in him. And it wasn’t planned that way, of course not. No one plans “blessings from the Universe.” But, you see that full circle? Quite frankly, I I believe in serendipity.
Oh, my mentor? The absolutely fantastic Alejandro Boim ✨
(This portrait is of Molinari’s body, with a fly head. Guido passed away in 2004. I hope he appreciates my surrealist pleasantries.)