When I took this picture at MOMA some years back, I waited through several chances to catch the red-haired woman peering at just the right angle to the light. There isn't much chance (slim and none) of ever creating even one square inch of art as mesmerizing as Starry Night but I was interested in catching the shadow as it was alive in some sort of odd form.
What I see is the art, framed in a bath of light so that every brush stroke is exposed, a figure looking at the trees in the forest (figuratively) marveling at the technique and her shape caught in every direction casting a composite shadow that is as out of sorts and focus as the sky at night.
Long time back, my minor field of study for the doctorate was art history. I sat in this seminar of future art critics and would-be historians all marveling in some sort of cosmic language about this or that picture. Where they saw inner struggles I saw a man and a pony. We looked at this work and I saw delirium and way too much to drink. My contributions were met with some disdain as they often are and with reason.
I'm looking at the current political mess and that's what brought all this up. We are seeing what we see and my contribution and observation is and only should be interesting and meaningful to me. I'm just an observer. Well-intentioned people are casting lots of light and we seem to be in the fuzzy shadow of an onlooker who is too close to the object of regard to see what is really going on.