The Figure 5 in Gold

The Figure 5 in Gold: Charles Demuth’s Art & William Carlos Williams’ Poem

I Saw The Figure Five In Gold

This has been sitting in draft mode for a few weeks now, and now here’s the real thing. I think the first time I ever saw this painting was when I was in the 6th grade in New Orleans. It struck me as beautiful, and mysterious. I always loved making alphabets and seeing the variations in how to create letters: at the time I think I taught myself calligraphy. When we lived in the Philippines we had a section at La Salle Green Hills that was strictly penmanship – we practiced loops and pen control. And I always loved to draw. So, letters — bubble letters, calligraphy, signage, geometric letters, handwriting, block printing — all of this was probably swirling in my head when I was confronted with this image. The idea that a letter could be the subject of a painting was probably so strange I had to love it.

Which I do.

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