Friday, April 26, 2013

Inspiration Friday- Art happens.


This week went by so quickly I didn't make a thing.
Thursday was filled with ALL interesting things!

I've had a visit to The New Museum Of Contemporary Art in my "to do" list for over two years.
The have a gorgeous new building that looks like stacked corrugated steel blocks.
See? SO PRETTY! Also? Giant metal rose! What's not to love?

I love modern, challenging and contemporary art museums.
The exhibit "NYC1993: Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No star" was SO not time to visit this museum on a whim.
Very little of what's hanging in the galleries is ok to show here.
No, really.
Crude, shock baiting, obvious and irrelevant are all words that come to mind in regards to what's on exhibit now.

I am an open-minded person who enjoys having the rug pulled out from under her expectations.
But even for me, a good time does NOT include visiting a space where people stare and smirk at a "mixed media sculpture" of a man, a child and a goat.
That move.
Yes- feel free to imagine the very worst.

Who. Buys. This. Stuff?
More importantly, WHY?

I mean, yes, art is MORE than just pretty pictures to match your furniture.
Art is about making you see things in a new way.
It's about opening unexpected doors to new ideas and view points.
For me, art is NOT about beating the viewer over the head with the terms

If I wanted to experience obvious interpretations of these societal ills I would walk down the street like I always do, eyes open.

When I see art, I want to be transported.
This exhibit took me straight to a dark place and left me there saying
"Ok. Never coming back here again."

Yet, there was another aspect to this.
As we trudged from gallery to gallery blocking Lola from the worst of the "art"
PS- that's not something I do. I would rather deal with the following:
"What is THAT?"
"That is a set of teeth jutting up and out of a chair." (See? Told you! BANANAS!)
But the husband wasn't HAVING IT!
He left and took the kiddo with him to the food court where a thousand tiny origami paper cranes flew.
Ahhh... art.
Transcendent and perfectly normal all at once.

In my feeble defense, I had no idea WHAT the museum was showing.
It was free thursday and we were curious to see the inside of the place.
SO not what you do.
SO. NOT. !!!
Always, ALWAYS check the museum website or stick to The Met.
The statues in The Met are naked but DO NOT MOVE.

I was feeling all kinds of mixed up.
Here I was grossed out by this spastic display of creative desperation
All the while getting a chance to relive my past.
Not a past of violence or political disempowerment but a past of youthful creativity and hope.

In 1993 I was a Freshman college major participating in an exciting program called Yo-Tv.
We got to make the exhibit video for the Whitney Museum's Biennial.

I met many of the artists in this exhibit 20 years ago when I was pretty impressionable but even THEN I knew the work was lacking.

Here are a few of the installations or exhibits I thought flew past their social ills moorings and spoke to the soul about truth not just capital lettered negativity.
Janine Antoni's "Lick and Lather".
Chocolate  or soap busts that have been licked or lathered.
The results are rather eerie and beautiful.
We can talk for HOURS about female ideations of beauty and empowerment or
we can admire this set of 20 busts that fills the room with the scent of chocolate. 
Didn't get the name of this artist but I loved the interpretation of words so hot they
burned the letters off the page. What a beautiful way to capture feelings and ideas about
sexuality, privacy and knowledge without thrusting body parts my direction. (EWW!)
No artist info- sorry! This was a huge room with wall paper, an orange rug,
lights hanging from the ceiling and music. It was pretty and I wanted a great picture
then the guard yelled at me for getting too close to the installation. So I hid him behind the light.
A photo of a  mirror. Cast your vote for what this stands for. Yeah pretty obvious.
I loved it anyway. It was printed beautifully by Zoe Leonard- an artist I got to meet
and whom I found especially insightful, inspiring and down to earth. 
Pepon Osorio. This two room installation showing all the stereotypical objects d'art that
Caribbean Latinos of a certain generation and dare I say, economic status, tended to fill their homes with.
On the floor is a dead body (a fake one- this is supposed to be a movie set).
I identified with and was repulsed by this but I interviewed this artist for the Biennial video.
I thought the work  didn't make a lick of sense but I liked that he was able to explain himself to
19 year old me plainly and without that tone grown ups get with ignorant know-it-all teenagers.

Uhmmm- enough of THAT.

The New Museum changes exhibits frequently so maybe I'll see something interesting next time- if I ever bother visiting gain.

Onto the more accessible art!
Thursday morning we lined up and waited an hour to get our portraits taken for the InsideOut NYC Project.
If you are near 46 street and Times Square and have a few hours to kill I suggest you line up.
It's free.
You go to the back of a black and white polka dot truck to sit for 6 seconds and get a photo taken- no backsies!
You can then choose to take the resulting poster home or let the crew paste it to the ground in front of the TKTS booth.
This was total AWESOME SAUCE.
We are going again because this happened:
Beware of "funny" faces and distracted toddlers. :)
If Lola had looked in the general direction of the camera, this would have come home with us.
I don't enjoy the sight of my daughter's enlarged nostrils.

Have a great weekend folks!

1 comment:

  1. I'm with you. I tend to love art that makes me gasp with its unexpectedness. Obviousness and obscenity does not do it for me.

    I do think Lola's nostrily distractectedness is cute, though. ;)


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