Just to mention an example, I can't understand why so many people take photos of famous paintings when they visit a museum and why they mostly do it with their mobile phone or small basic cameras.
I can understand, obviously, why so many people feel deeply emotions seeing in reality a masterpiece which they had seen many times before in books of art or in documentary films.
But it's beyond my imagination what pushes them to take bad pictures of it, while it's full of perfect photographic reproductions.
I suppose that all the people who have visited the Louvre Museum in Paris have felt a pang of discomfort finding themselves in front of "Monna Lisa" by Leonardo (which by the way is a painting of reduced dimension, over protected by a thick glass, already a little disappointing for this reason at a first impact), half hidden by a forest of arms holding mobile phones in a frantic ecstasy of clicks.
What for? I'm unable to understand.
Another question will follow this one immediately. Why a few paintings have become so famous and have been transformed in Pop icons, while others, equally marvellous or even more, don't receive the same passionate attention?
In reality " Monna Lisa" was not so terribly famous once. It became more "interesting" for a large audience after its vicissitudes, as the fact that in 1911 it was stolen by an Italian whitewasher, who had kept it hidden under his bed for two years.
Another masterpiece of painting has started "menacing" Monna Lisa's pre-eminence as the most famous picture of the world. It's the one called " Het Meisje met de Parel" ( The Girl with a Pearl Earring) by Johan Vermeer. The picture is splendid and Vermeer was an extraordinary artist, but, let me say, only 20 years ago this painting didn't enjoy the enormous popularity it has nowadays.
The origin of its popular success can be found maybe in a book with the same title, written by Tracy Chevalier, who mixed up real elements of Vermeer's biography with fiction and imagined who the mysterious model of the picture could be. The novel is enjoyable and I wonder why the following novels by the same author have never reached the same level of quality, but this is another story, of course.
As it often happens, after the success of the book, someone decided to make a film based on the story. I didn't like the film at all, so I won't spend any further single word on it. But the fame of the picture was even more amplified and I'm afraid that several –a little superficial–people are really persuaded that the fictional character imagine by Chevalier was really the girl of the painting.
So also the unknown Dutch girl has become another Pop icon.
Masterpieces of painting sometimes become celebrities exactly like movie stars, rock singers or sportsmen.
Many people who go to see them in an art museum don't look at them as they are, but as if they were the main characters of a famous soap opera, sitting at a café table. If they could, they would ask for an autograph, or else they just bombard them with clicks taking snap-shots.
Exactly like when there is it doesn't matter what celebrity walking in the street and fans take totally useless shots with the omnipresent mobile phones.
Maybe finally I have found a partial answer.