After staring long enough at Rembrandt’s great painting The Jewish Bride, while also reading essays from Gabriel Josipovici’s book Touch, I feel touched in more than one way. I imagine being both of Rembrandt’s models at the same time. The man and the woman. With my hand on the torso I imagine feeling its heat and vibrations. I keep the stroke steady to feel the smoothness, the silky surface, and the flow of the body. With my hand on the other’s hand, I imagine feeling its lines striving for something that is both natural and momentous. There is a complicit doubleness in touch as it confirms its own presence. “Its presence to you, but also its presence to it,” says Josipovici. As I throw myself at plagiarizing Rembrandt, I think of miraculous touches, yet the ones whose healing powers are felt only as a form of longing. I paint as Bach’s Toccata, another form of touch, pounds into my ears. The sounds connect to the orbit of my attention, and I drop some eyes onto the canvas. I want to be tender to them, but I also feel the urge to stick them out of their fixation. But the power of the gaze beyond boundary wins. I close my eyes and feel touched by the eloquence of such (in)sight.


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