Nature is a subject for artists and poets, but once their work is ready, the whole business of talking and writing about these man-made creations takes over. Is it true that such representations, once created, take on a life of their own and far exceed – in terms of the attention we give them – their sources?
Consider the attention we give to still life paintings. We go to museums to experience and admire such works, write and talk about them, but how often do we contemplate the fruit bowl on the table, the light falling on it, the effect of those shapes next to each other?
Some years back on a trip to New York I visited a Van Gogh exhibition at the MoMA. The galleries resembled a supermarket during Christmas sale, and as people elbowed each other to get a view of The Starry Night, I wondered how many of them had looked at the heavens even once in the last month.