It’s funny how a simple thing can tell you so much about a foreign county and its culture.
I was sitting outside the Guggenheim in Bilbao minding the dogs, while Bonnie went inside for a visit.
I sat in a place above a fountain that spurted water out of several holes in the ground ever few seconds, and shot them to differing heights.
About a dozen very young children had taken off their clothes, donned bathing suits, partial bathing suits, and in the case of one little girl, nothing at all. She was about 5-6 years old and cute and beautiful as innocent in her appearance and movement as a naked child is as that age. No one blinked an eye. I thought about the same scene unfolding in the fountain at the Chandler Music Center. I don’t think it would have played out the same.
Much of the world has changed where the response to naked young children is concerned. But on that afternoon in Spain, I was so happy to be in q place and time when such a scene was just that, a typical scene of young children in play in a fountain and the fact that one of them, a young girl of 5-6 was naked mattered not at all.
As for the Getty Museum in Bilbao, I was relatively unimpressed. Although it saved the town of Bilbao. The town was literally disappearing when the towns folks commissioned Geary to design a new museum for them. Oh, it has the Geary tips of leaves typical of a Geary, but inside, which seems enormous, and where there is very little art, there are some sweeping glass towers that seem to reach to the sky, but I found it somehow less architecturally interesting than the bodies of those young children cavorting in his fountain.