Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Week 1 - Continued some more: The Metropolitan Museum of Art & cake

On Friday we decided we'd go to an evening opening of the Metropolitan Museum of Art or MMA for short. We had a leisurely morning and then ambled into Manhattan. I found an H&M (not hard, those Swedes are everywhere!) as I needed a scarf, it was so cold out it hurt to inhale! We had lunch in a nice diner had a chat with a nice man called Rick, stopped off in an art print shop where I found a beautiful magazine called 'I Love You' the issue was a tribute to curvy women everywhere, Joan from Mad Men in particular. The cover is quite funny, giving a very slender girl a big bottom, but really there is no shortage of fabulously attractive women with ample behinds the world over, seemed a bit cowardly. Finally we made it to MMA, we were very excited to find out that the admission fee is actually just a donation of any amount hooray! There are (obviously) some beautiful pieces in the museum and I was really pleased to see some work by some of my favourite artists that I hadn't seen before. I don't want to just go around with a mental checklist saying yep, yep, yep to a bunch of famous paintings just so I can say I've seen them for real. I'm primarily interested in seeing new things or experiencing work I've only seen in reproduction in a positive way, this happened a lot when we went to MOMA. For instance who hasn't seen Dali's melting clocks like, a squillion times in reproduction? I was massively underwhelmed by it, it's tiny. But even if it was as big as I'd imagined it was the awe factor just isn't there. Seeing Boccioni's Unique Forms of Certainty in Space was wonderful, I'd read so much about the Futurists that to then see it for real really added to it, especially since I'd only seen black and white photographs of it. Anyway the Met, I stumbled across one of Edgar Degas' drawings of a ballet dancer and this was quite lovely for me, as again, I'd only seen these in books before. I don't know if it was seeing an original that struck me so much as the fact that I came across it at this point, on this trip where I'm reevaluating lots of things professionally. But either way it reminded me of when I was first serious about being 'an artist' at about 13 or 14 years old, I copied Degas' drawings over and over and the marks felt so familiar to me I felt inspired and comforted at the same time. We also saw a striking Ingres, the expression on the woman's face in the portrait is subtly seductive and the rendering of her luxurious dress is vibrant and faultless. One other highlight for me was seeing a painting by Artemesia Gentileschi one of my favourite painters, I'd never seen one of hers in the flesh before and it's pretty special, I took a good detail picture but the full sized one is really shakey so I'll have to go back. Fell in love with a painting by Massimo Stanzione, very superficial of me, I just loved the colour palette, such a bold block of yellow and the composition just drags you from everything else in the room. Also saw some interesting pieces that were hair themed and some great Ed Rushca prints. On the way home we went to a deli that sold extraordinarily wonderful cakes, we didn't have much cash on us so we admired them like we had everything else in the museum and took their photo (see top)!

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