Image from: http://www.wikiart.org/en/jamie-wyeth/twin-houses-1969
Jamie Wyeth’s Twin Houses (1969) belongs in a Wes Anderson film.
Upon seeing it hung in the Denver Art Museum recently, my mind immediately went to the director who was responsible for the beautiful films The Grand Budapest Hotel and Moonrise Kingdom.
It is a dream in pastel tones. It doesn’t make any noise, but it somehow feels like the memory of a song, or a daydream of something to come. The two houses face each other, as though they are ready to converse – or perhaps already deep in conversation. They are clean, placed at the center of the clear environment. The light in the painting seems blue, as if the entire piece is under some kind of periwinkle filter – much like the purple overtones of The Grand Budapest Hotel. Also like the movie, the light lends the piece an element of fantasy. The horizon line is straight, flat, and low, giving the sky room to breathe in the piece. The environment is reminiscent of the beach in Moonrise Kingdom, where two adventurous children express their love more bravely than adults often do. That moment – that feeling – is just as pure.
Those two houses stand naked and full of life. They do not cover themselves in any way, not with any fancy additions or even the simplest bit of color. A person could sit in front of that painting all day, imagining what is happening on the other side of the small windows. But the houses reveal no secrets, they just sit simply in their existence, enjoying the sunshine.