“Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an object as FREEDOM should not be highly rated.”—Thomas Paine, The American Crisis, Number 1.
The centerpiece of the New American Gallery at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Emmanuel Leutze’s Washington Crossing the Delaware, invites strong reactions from whoever happens to behold it. Responses, which range from anecdotes of soldiers, who stood in tears before the masterpiece, to tourists, who laugh out their bellies at the same piece, are in no short supply. What is so interesting is the fact that the emotions evoked by the painting are either on one extreme end of the spectrum or the other. Initially, I found the romantic style and excessive patriotism of a German-“American” artist painting in Germany quite repulsive, to say nothing of the relative lack of symbolism in this 150” x 255” piece. After spending three weeks trying to create a film from the piece under the auspices of the Met Teen program, however, I realized this painting has already become a symbol of the ethos of the American people. This sentimental and histrionic still attempts to convey a story just as compelling as any theatrical performance or film that anyone could happen upon. Given that Washington Crossing the Delaware is the blockbuster of its day (which is more or less true, since it was created in 1851), it’s no wonder that a reasonable viewer cannot help either exalting or disdaining it. [click to continue….]
As I amble towards the Metropolitan Museum of Art on a bright summer morning, I am once again struck by its flight of stairs which seem not to lead into one of the world’s most prestigious museums but a haven in which series of beautiful efforts to capture the essence of life could forever reside in peace. All mundane thoughts dissipate and it is as though I am drawn into the works of the past. And yet, concurrently, a sense of awe and helplessness coalesce into a suffocating force. This contrast with the gentle zephyrs in the park ground outside.
Ah, the clouds above me are drifting. How beautiful are the trees, with light creating a natural collage with its leaves! But how can humans imitate this ideal; how can humans reach into the clouds? In this peaceful state of mind I look forward to a special exhibition by my favorite museum.
Tomas Saraceno’s Cloud City (now through November 4, 2012)–a collection of metal framework which puts on display three-dimensional hexagons (polyhedrons) piled together as a super-sized bee hive (or alternatively, as a pod high up in the sky)—is truly an architectural and aesthetic marvel on the 5th floor Roof Garden. [click to continue….]
We’ve all seen the handbags with the infamous upside down triangle. Whether its real or fake, Prado v. Prada (hey, I’m not judging) its a brand that we all recognize. As beautiful as Prada is at face value, it’s the story behind the beautiful patterns and chic silhouettes that mean something. After all, you could walk around carrying a Prado bag if you’re only caring about fashion. There’s something magical about holding a real Prada creation. You feel as if you’re in Milan, Italy witnessing the sketches being drawn and the fabric being measured. Suddenly, the bag is no longer a bag, it’s a story. [click to continue….]
The Metropolitan Museum of Art on 5th Aveune.
I took a visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I wasn’t expecting for the journey from Brooklyn to Central Park to be long, but it was. I had to take the 2 train (since no 5 trains were in service that day) to Atlantic/Pacific Street, and then transfer to the 4 train, to get off at 86th street!
When you get out from the train station the first thing you will notice is a big H&M. To get to the museum you’re going to walk down Madison Ave until you get to 82nd Street. When you get to 82nd street you’re going to walk one block to 5th Ave, and there it is.
This was my first time going to the museum, and I know it won’t be my last. By looking at the museum and hearing from other people, you know it is a very BIG museum. [click to continue….]
The most unusual part of this whole experience is the realization that there are things in this world still indescribable and yet oddly understandable. There are no longer any limits to what art can show us.
In the thirteenth solo artists exhibition on the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden the famous duo Doug and Mike Starn have teamed up with the legendary Metropolitan Museum of Art to create, yet again, another piece of art that cannot be categorized, as usual. It is a mix of performance, sculpture, and architecture.
Big Bambú: You Can’t, You Don’t, and You Won’t Stop, consisting of 5,000 interlocking 30 and 40 foot‐long fresh‐cut bamboo poles lashed together with 50 miles of nylon rope, will continue to be constructed throughout the duration of the exhibit and will in the end take the form of a monumental cresting wave. The first phase of the structure measuring about 100 feet long, 50 feet wide, and 30 feet high was completed by opening day, April 27. [click to continue….]
Francis was a man of the flesh. Forget plein air watercolors with frilly parasols and cotton clouds, dismiss the large swaths of Kandinsky blue spread across the canvas and welcome the true Bacon of art. Currently staged in clean, spacious white rooms at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Francis Bacon retrospective invites the viewer to experience the paintings of an artist who never quite fit through the Expressionist label, never squeezed through the figurative art category nor promoted the abstraction and Surrealism of his days.
A Dubliner by 1909 birth, Bacon fled to London in his teens, and a large portion of his life was spent in that very city, gambling, drinking and witnessing the rapid cycle of decay, rebirth, destruction and terror of Europe burning. The Met exhibition chronicles Bacon’s exposure to the intense influences of wars, lovers and interior design (his first career), from a seminal 1944 crucifixion study to a jet of water in 1988. [click to continue….]
Upon entering a relatively small room in the rather grand structure of the Met, one is struck by the subtly unhinged feeling that occupies the space. Reality Check is the appropriate title of the show, which features photographs from various photographers, all with an offbeat image. Each artist presents a situation that is anything from too real, but not real at all, too fake but real enough. [click to continue….]
Picasso, the posterboy of so many “-isms” one would have thought the man himself would have a schism down the middle, once referred to Bonnard’s art as “a potpourri of indecision”. Indecisive, our dear Pablo would claim, because Pierre Bonnard couldn’t pin down a definitive color for the sky. At times blue, occasionally yellow and, when one lifted up his spectacles (for, indeed, Bonnard had rather curiously shaped lenses connected by an eccentric nose piece) perhaps blotted with a streak of pink. As for potpourri, well, that’s a debateable issue. Bonnard did concentrate his pieces within an intimate setting, particularly bathrooms (where small lacy bags of that sweet-smelling stuff can be found). While the art world was reeling from a toilet displayed in galleries, Bonnard chose, instead, to depict the homelier settings of his French residence. [click to continue….]