Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A Post Script

About a year and a half ago, I posted this story about my favorite painting:

Provenance

Provenance, from the French word provenir, "to come from". Literally meaning - the origin of something - where something originated, was made, the history of something or someone. I love that word - provenance - it just sounds important.
I own this signed Fiore painting - I bought it from an art dealer in New York City, almost ten years ago. Joel, the dealer, bought it out of an upper east side brownstone. I know that this was painted by an artist named Joseph Fiore, who attended Black Mountain College under Josef Albers, Ilya Bolotowsky and Willem de Kooning, from 1946-1948. He then studied at the California School of Fine Art from 1948-49 and taught at Black Mountain College from 1949-1956. Besides all of this, I know very little about Joseph Fiore - other than I believe he is still alive. I wonder if he misses this painting.
About a year ago, Sofia and I came home after school and from the outside window, we saw that the painting had fallen off the dining room wall. The canvas was laying atop one of our dining room chairs and had been pierced by the two wooden finials that frame the back of the chair. Pierced! I ran in and let out a huge litany of my favorite curse words. The painting was slashed in two different places, 2-3" each slash. I thought my love affair with the painting was over - I mourned. And then one day, my brother John, who is a painter and general master crafter, repaired my painting! He lined the back of the two slashes with linen tape and then ever so gently, painted over the ripped canvas until the slashes disappeared. I can't even remember where the canvas was pierced - it's invisible to the naked eye. I hope Joseph would feel the same way.

Last week, I received this comment on the posting:

Anonymous said...
This painting was painted by my Uncle Joseph Fiore who died quietly in his home on Sept. 18, 2008. He was a wonderful artist and would have been delighted to know how much you loved his painting.


I was happy and sad at the same moment. I always wondered about Joseph Fiore - how amazing that someone followed a thread and then passed along a message. Provenance complete - at least for now. Very cool - thanks Anonymous.

9 comments:

Pink Trees and Sunshine said...

Oh, how sweet and touching!

Carolyn said...

Kaari, your words highlight the effect the internet has had on all of us … where else but cyberspace can we set forth our thoughts in the bottle of time and have them return to us. Sublime!

Cara said...

Very cool

Danangib said...

Beautiful post, thanks for sharing this !

jaybird said...

what a great story.. i'm glad that not only was your brother able to repair it but that you now know a bit more about the creator

Rachel Carlson said...

what a great story, thanks for sharing!

AnnaBananna said...

Just the thing to lift a weary spirit! Thanks for this lovely post.

molly said...

dude, so cool

Janet said...

How wonderful your brother was able to restore this lovely painting - you must have been heartsick when you found it was damaged. And how nice to have found a family connection to the painter.
I have ordered a packet of your offcuts and am eagerly awaiting their arrival, along with a sampling of rouenneries sufficient to make a quilt and some lavender sachets.
Thanks for all your great ideas and merchandise.
Janet