Beauty Is In The Eyeball Of The Beholder

Whiteman 2015 151

Did you ever have one of those feelings? Like when you start watching a teenage slasher movie and they go into the old, dark house. And the black guy goes into the deserted room first. And the music goes “Weep, Weep, Weep…”. You just KNOW what’s going to happen next…

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I had that same feeling when I walked up to this Citroen 2CV. Normally the most innocuous of vehicles, this one was sitting there in the half-shade under the tree like a ripe fruit. A ripe fruit nestled in the jaws of a bear trap…Too good to be true – too true to be good.

It is the Mondrian Car. Painted in the primary colours and blocky patterns favoured by Piet Mondrian. The Dutch painter. Note that word…”Dutch”. Weep, Weep, Weep…

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As soon as my friend and myself were well within the jaws of the trap…he sprang. Out of the darkness – The Dutchman. The man who had invented the electric Piet Mondrian Citroen. As I clawed my way backward from the ravening beast ( or should that be biest…?) my friend innocently asked him a question about the electric generator.

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Well, you know what happened next. The Dutchman delivered a full and considered answer to the question followed by a reasoned and passionate lecture on the 2CV as an electric vehicle. Of the future, perhaps, or the past, or sideways as it happened. He had figures. He had plans. He had arguments. He had my friend by the earlobe and wasn’t going to let go.

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I did the right thing – the fair thing –  the brave thing. I cut my cable and ran for it. Leaving Warren to his grisly fate, I used the time to take a series of detail photos of the batteries and switches and the contents of a Goodwill bin in Rotterdam. I’m afraid the colour rendition might be a bit off but the saturation needle was banging on the stops and I did the best I could.

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Eventually he lost interest, dropped Warren insensate from his talons, and flapped off to circle around another unwary soul. I dragged Warren away with a hook and revived him. I think all is well, but I have hesitated to make the sound of a pickled herring or a barrel organ in case he has a relapse.

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Note: I like Mondrian’s work and have a reproduction of a painting in my studio. It is a quiet painting…

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