24 August 2011

The Artwork of Toronto Hotel Rooms, Part 1

I woke up this morning in a hotel room on Wellington Street in Toronto. There are several nice things about my room. One: I have a view of the CN Tower. Two: Free Wi-fi. Three: Firm mattress. Four: One extra pillow on the bed.

While waking, I noticed a painting on the far wall of my room. This painting shows a man and a European-style bicycle. (How can I tell that it is a European bicycle? Because the seat is very small and is located at the very back of the bicycle.) The man, interestingly, is not riding the bicycle. Instead, he seems to be walking the bicycle. Maybe he has just finished a long ride and is tired. Maybe he stopped for a moment to take in the scenery. Or maybe his lover, only moments ago, ended their love affair, and now he is too sad to ride his bicycle. Regardless, his head is extremely thin, far more thin than a normal head would be, which is an example of the artist exercising his or her "Artistic License."

The man and his bicycle appear to be passing through an old fishing village of some kind. I say "old" namely because the painting is rendered in a range of sepia tones. Whenever I see a sepia tone, or even see the word "sepia," boom, I inevitably think "old" and sometimes even start hearing faint clarinet music like the type that is played in fake old-time ice cream parlors.

The tide is clearly out at the moment in the painting. Three boats--two regular boats and a sailboat--are currently parked on the shore. Did the fishermen, who are absent in the painting, pull the boats ashore? If so, where are they now? Are they perhaps lunching inside the small, thin building on the lefthand side of the painting? Perhaps they are smoking cigarettes and telling one another off-color jokes about the bicyclist's lover who has jilted him. Jokes that include phrasings and words like "openings," "24-7," and "that laundromat sign that says 'Last load: 8 p.m.' "

Other points of interest in the piece: the angry-looking rock-formation jetty extending into the harbor, which threatens to cleave the painting in two, and the palm-tree frond which hangs down from the top left corner. At least, I think it is a palm tree frond. Because it looks strange for a frond.

At the horizon, the sepia tones are identical to the sepia tones of the earth beneath the tires of the thin-headed man's European bicycle. This implies that earth and sky are one, and perhaps thematically, that whatever we find here on earth is just as appealing as anything we might long for, or envy over the horizon.

Score for this painting: 4 out of 10.

Artist: The work is unsigned.

Can I remove the painting from the room wall? Answer: No, I cannot.

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