An afternoon at the MoMA

Perhaps I am starting to get comfortable again with museums, perhaps the Museum of Modern Art in New York City is just a really cool place to visit.

There was a big Dada exhibition at the MOMA: Sophie Taeuber, Marcel Duchamp, Jean Arp, Man Ray, Max Ernst, George Grosz and so many others. I wondered if Dada artists refused to take seriously art and power after World War I because they knew that no war or dictatorship is possible if people don’t take themselves and their leaders seriously. Alas, too many people took themselves, their nation, and their leader too seriously and the world was at war again.

The Paris section had a lot of interesting pieces. It made me remember of a high-school mate, whose nickname was Picabia, because he looked like French dadaist Francis Picabia (or was he a relative of Francis Picabia? I don’t remember). We were so cool and intellectual in high-school.

[Dont’ miss the instructions on how to make a fauxtogram]

Magritte at MOMA

There are so many famous paintings at MoMA, one after another; it feels like being on a ring with Cassius Clay, and getting one punch in the face after the other. You want to get closer to each painting and get something more from it; the feeling of the brush strokes, the depth, the smell, whatever essence was left by the painter. You want to know that being in the presence of these paintings is much more than looking at a picture of them.

Pollock, detail at MOMA

Because they don’t check your electronics, I had to walk around the museum with a white plastic bag that contained my iBook, iPod, Palm, and cell phone. The good and unusual thing is that they let you take pictures. Several people were taking pictures with their cell phone, so I started too.

Pollock, detail

This painting made me wonder: is it still art if it hurt your eyes when you look at it?

how long can  you look at this painting

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You stopped and looked back

Photo by Cavenli2008 found on FlickrWhen, walking home from the party,
you stopped and looked back
were you making sure nobody was following you, or
hoping to see somebody approaching?

When you closed the door and turned the key
were you welcoming solitude, or
craving the world you left outside?

In the stone house in the suburbs,
were you cherishing the quiet isolation,
or missing the messy loud crowd of the city?
The sour-smelling dirty messy loud crowd
the intoxicating exhilarating

Evelyn Rodriguez on Art and Ambition

Evelyn Rodriguez quotes Prabda Yoon, a writer from Bangkok who, among many things, led two drawing workshops for the victims of the Tsunami:

It would be difficult to find an ugly artwork by a child. That is probably because when a children make art, they don’t begin with an idea in their heads that what they are doing is making art.

Evelyn writes:

Perhaps ugliness springs from ambition (…) The quality of children’s art is that it defies all the annoying artistic ambitions held by most adults; the sorts of ambitions that turn art into making a career, or a self-serving, egotistical expression far removed from acts of creation inspired entirely by nature.

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