Self-Portraits and Empty Frames in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
by Jessica Vestuto
My apartment is small, the picture-hanging real estate even smaller—two large windows and a row of cabinets in the kitchenette leave limited surface into which you can hammer a nail. I have lived in Boston for a few months, and in a few months, I managed to acquire a varied collection of wall art. A New Yorker cover. A travel ad for Chamonix. A Bauhaus poster. A photo of young David Bowie riding a subway in Japan, all blonde and cheekbones. With each new piece, the surrounding empty space on the wall becomes more obvious, and the space bothers me until it is filled. On the phone with my sister one night, I learn my collection had become cause for familial concern. “Mom thinks you have so much hanging on your walls because you’re lonely,” she says.