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Translate please…

I tip my hat

While on a trip to Japan in the early 1980s, the President of the United States, Jimmy Carter, made a pun. After a short hesitation his interpreter translated the witticism into Japanese. The Japanese audience burst into excessive laughter, which later prompted the President to ask the interpreter what exactly he had translated. Was his pun really that humorous? The interpreter admitted that, instead of attempting to translate the pun, he had simply said in Japanese: “the President of the United States has made a pun. Please laugh”.

My only advice is, this fine Thursday morning, if you’ve never seen the film ‘Lost in Translation’, then please do.

Pay particular attention when the photographer is giving instructions to the hapless Bill Murray via the equally unfortunate translator.

It sums up the film.

However, despite remembering that scene I’m not actually laughing at this precise moment. Instead I’m thinking of the universal appeal of art, in particular paintings.

Is Beckmann’s work distinctly Germanic?
Would we guess as to Chagall’s heritage?

I don’t think so. Nothing is lost in translation.

International readers be justly consoled. My paintings fit a myriad of walls, and breaks down a few too.

Self praise is no praise, but I can live with its phantom weight.


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