How a painting helped Gianluigi Buffon cope with depression
Tehran (KNA) - One of the perks of being a news anchor is the unexpected conversations you have with fascinating people in unique circumstances.
One day you're in Davos talking climate change with former US Vice President Al Gore, the next you're discussing the historic visit of Pope Francis to the UAE with Emirati diplomats in Abu Dhabi, and the next you're debating the merits of artificial intelligence with Denmark's new tech ambassador. It's all part of the predictable unpredictability of the job.
But every now and then, you find yourself in a situation that's truly unforgettable.
Like standing in the Impressionist wing of the Musee d'Orsay in Paris, as I was on a crisp winter day this January, chatting about the delicate interplay of light in Renoir's "Dance at Le Moulin de la Galette," with none other than the Italian football legend and current Paris Saint-Germain goalkeeper, Gianluigi Buffon.
"I find it astonishing because in this painting Renoir has depicted ordinary people, not those belonging to high society," explains Buffon without a hint of irony coming from a man who has achieved the extraordinary in a career spanning decades. The most-capped player in the history of the Italian national team, multiple winner of the Italian Serie A with Juventus, 2006 FIFA World Cup champion, and the list goes on.
"It's the everyday things that bring enormous happiness and happiness is all about enjoying the simple things in life and here is a painting of an ordinary day, and one that I never took part in, but would like to," he continues as we make our way through the crowd of onlookers, their smartphones in hand. It's not every day you get to meet a real-life maestro in a museum.
Enjoying the simple things in life, and in art, is a recurring theme with Buffon. He credits Chagall's "The Promenade," a painting he first came across in a gallery in Turin, for helping him cope with a bout of depression and anxiety back in the early 2000s.
Struggling with the prospect of fading youthful exuberance and facing the onslaught of adult responsibility, Buffon took refuge in Chagall's dreamlike composition.