In the multitude of diverse galleries across our beautiful planet, there is one that is different from all the others. Only strangers and random passers-life, connected in time, staying in it. In this gallery, no one meets with anyone, no one is communicating with anyone. Everyone is watching his favorite painting in silence, without comment. Some visitors are able to watch their favorite painting for hours, so you can at one moment seems to wax figures standing in front of the paintings. On their faces could not be read any emotions. They just thoughtfully observe, and keep silent. Even artists, who exhibit their works in this gallery, are strangers too. They do not communicate with each other. They do not know each other. They just put their paintings, and leave. They paint only and exclusively self-portraits. It's their only inspiration. Everything else is foreign, unknown and uninteresting to them. What is interesting is that they do not have to be talented, not at all. They do not even know the gallery owner. Priority is given to those who pay more. The same is with buyers. They are the most interesting part of the story. Buyers do not even know the artists, nor visitors, or gallery owner. They do not even know the name of the author whose painting they are buying. They buy what they like, and leave. Trains of strangers pass through this strange gallery every day, and none of them has the mark. No one knows where they come from and where they go. They have no timetable, and no one knows whether it will go back or not. However, their railroad tracks are never crossed. Each of them has its own railroad track at which it moves. Only stations are common to them. The gallery of strangers will exist in one of these stations as long as there are the passengers and trains. It will rotate self-portraits of famous and unknown artists. Strangers will recognize themselves in some of them. Those who are most convincing they will take with themselves, perhaps because they liked the most to them, and perhaps only to remove them from the public eye. Artists, who just paint only and exclusively self-portraits, are so in love with themselves, so that they reveal too much, and hide a little. They are the greatest mystery to themselves, the center of the universe, and an inexhaustible source of inspiration. Everything that is on them, and in them, is infinitely interesting. They do not allow others to reveal them. All they have to say and show they are placed on the walls of the gallery. Artists who have many different characters do not have to be talented. It is enough to capture precious moments in which they show them, and some of the visitors will always find themselves in some of them. Passers-by will always be. I keep wondering why we did not go further, why our railroad tracks circling only around the Earth. Maybe because we still do not know enough ourselves, and maybe it's just too many strangers.
The gallery of strangers, author Suzana Stojanović, August 30, 2016