The Curious Case of the Cubist Clown

cubist clown

Photo: WHB – 2019

An unknown nocturne plays
without provenance 
Realised in a Narnian dream
to be read by hearsay
its undisclosed lineage
a mystery

White-garbed musician
guitar akimbo
Draped
casually at ease
on a cubist chair.

In melancholy mood
his arpeggioed chords
gently weeping
to me
the silent onlooker
the uninformed audience
for his deft and fretful
Brazilian saudade

Braque-ish cubes
predominate
Harlequin or Clown
checkered grand master
or imminent coulrophobia

And why white
Why the mask noir
the dense
Intense context
Where only silent space
listens
his rasguedo sonorous
in turn
soothing and somnolent
then
fraught with flamenco tension
or on fire with gypsy fervour

And the shadow figure
skulking
hurrying into the background
A sinister threat
escaping from
a mission accomplished 
or fleeing
bearing yet more grief
to some renegade de-briefing

The message missed
Significance lost
Theories advanced
Debated
Discarded

The clues must be there
too dense to unravel
I need a history

I think too
I see hidden faces
The game players’ cabal
linked by name
or by my imagination

In my desire to crack the code 
I stumble and abort my search
Defeated for now
But not for ever

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I would be delighted if any viewer of the above picture could provide clues to the artist and or to his/her subject.  I have had no direct access to the original painting (print?) but an intriguing story was woven around both the painting’s subject and its acquisition by the friend who allowed  me to photograph the above which is merely a copy of the original. 

 

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