Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Painter or Paintee?

Next Monday I will be helping to interview a fine pianist on our local radio station. She has been concertizing vigorously for about fifteen years and was recently mentioned in the New York Times.
Naturally I prepared by Googling the pianist’s name and checking out the first hundred or so references. Soon I clicked on a link and up came a large painting of a nude woman. Below the painting was the pianist’s name, the only text on the whole webpage. Non-plussed, I goggled. Finally I said to my self, “Self, before you ask the pianist about this picture, you’ve got to know whether she painted it, or whether she’s the subject.” Frantic web searches ensued. For some reason it was difficult to resolve the issue.
About five minutes later, light dawned. There is a painter whose last name is spelled almost exactly like the pianist’s, and they share the same first name. Google searches for either will yield info on both, partly due to misspellings on the web. In fact the painting had the correct name of the painter below it, but since I had found it by searching for the pianist’s name, I had not noticed the unexpected extra letter.

I shall not ask the pianist about the painting.

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