Pageant of the Masters, Laguna Beach
You know that feeling of pure admiration and awe that awashes you when you are truly moved by a piece of art?
Maybe it’s stepping into the Sistene Chapel and being enveloped by Michelangelo… or perhaps you stumble across a dreamy Monet painting in Museo de Madrid and you find yourself rendered speechless. But it could be more simple. Like taking a wrong turn in Los Angeles and being humbled by graffiti of angel wings… or pausing to take another look at a photograph of rolling hills at the farmer’s market.
If I could, I would enter every art gallery or museum twice. One completely ignorant to the art inside,
and another enlightened. The second experience I would know the style, the history, the hidden imagery. I would know who bought or gifted it from who, the life of the artist, and the great connoisseurs’ analysis of the piece’s legacy. I would be familiar with the muses, the backdrop, the
period in time. On the second trip, I would have a true appreciation for the importance of the art… not just the feelings it initially evokes.
Why go in blind the first time you wonder? For me, there is something so raw and uninhibited from an experience of letting ones emotional heart react first …before logic and reasoning can muddle your opinion. A nameless artwork with a forgotten story might speak to me. Not with the artist’s intent, but it might just make sense in my life, in my story… and that is why the first visit is so special.
The Pageant of the Master’s comes dangerously close to providing both of these experiences. It is a show of the familiar, but in a new and beautiful light. Snuggled into the Laguna Beach amphitheater, peering through your rented binoculars, you are sure to be mesmerized as actors reenact some of the world’s most famed portraits. I could probably do a better job explaining the ceremony… but then I’d be depriving you of the second visit, now wouldn’t I?