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Last Sunday, I went to the Neue Galerie with a Dutch friend and his sister. Tobias Tak is a tap dancer and graphic novelist : http://www.tobicomix.co.uk/. His sister, Elise Tak, is a digital artist who creates her own movie stars and narratives—movies within movies: http://www.elisetak.com/.

It’s a talented family. Tobias lives in London and works all over the EU; Elise lives in New York where she has been grounded for many years in the artists’ community in Brooklyn.

Walking around a gallery with artists is a unique and illuminating experience. As a writer, I am always searching for narrative and asking myself: Where’s the story? What is this about? Visual artists study the physicality of the work—shape color, line, composition—and often disregard the content in the first instance. It is only later that they become interested in the artist’s life, for example. I am interested in it from the beginning.

Standing in the dim gallery in front of a Klimt gesture drawing, I was struck by the erotic pose which almost fell off the page with abandon. And because I have researched Klimt’s life for my novella, “Sitting for Klimt,” I wondered who the model was. Tobias hadn’t noticed the pose or the model. Instead, he pointed to the decorative touches in the dress, swirling shapes resembling flowers. And because these swirling shapes were layered, he could tell that Klimt was searching for the right form. The first layer wasn’t quite right, so he kept going. It was all practice. He was searching.
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