During the latter days of the illusion of affluence, I paid a small commission to artist Taryn Williams to create a work especially for me. This happened shortly after a show of drawings by Ms. Williams in the coffee shop at BookPeople, here in Austin. She asked what I wanted, and I answered approximately, “Whatever you would like to imagine on my wall.” When she asked how soon, I indicated whenever she was so moved. Ms. Williams and I are not close friends, but we are good friends, sharing interests and mutual regard. The commission was embarrassingly modest, hardly enough for a small drawing. Last week, she asked if she could deliver the art. She showed up with an installation.
Laying out the individual paintings of “Hope (Horizon Series I)” on the dining table, Taryn indicated that I should play with arrangements before deciding for myself how to hang them. When sent a photo of the eventual display, she commented that the asymmetry with a diagonal rising to the right reflected optimism integral to the work. I take this to mean I didn’t stray too far from what she had envisioned. The piece is a tremendous affirmation bestowed by a wonderful artist. Hope reasserts itself with powerful expression at a moment when it had been obscured. Count the recipient delighted.