Monday, September 24, 2018

9/11 Memorial Museum - Relics and Tributes

As an artist and native New Yorker, its common knowledge that this city's art scene has never had a problem voicing opinions. On anything. Whether its the political unrest in the middle east, the water shortage in India, or any other international concern, artists of New York City carry with them a freedom to voice their two cents on the matter. During a recent (and timely) visit to the 9/11 Memorial Museum, I had the privilege of viewing not only the relics of this sad and tide-shifting event, but also the incredible national and international outpouring of artistic support and remembrance for this city, the United States, and the peoples whose lives it irrevocably changed.

The curators of this memorial space and museum took the time to integrate different art pieces, such as the re-sculpted steel quote from Virgil and the watercolor "September Sky" squares, to allow the space to provide a narrative of many voices at once. 

The artwork exhibited within the space reflects the different backgrounds of the people who offered it. One such example is the Massai tribe of Tanzania; whose artistic tribute depicts the American flag and the towers intertwined with images of white and red brown cows. This is indicative of the tribes support for the American people during this time.

 While the admissions ticket to the museum was a hefty 26 dollars (unless you go on Tuesday evenings, when admission is free 5pm to closing), I appreciated the beauty, variety, and sobriety of this multi-media arts memorial. I would further propose that this museum effectively shows the widespread impact that this event has on our world. So if your ever in the city, wear your best walking shoes and come and visit this unforgettable space.

For more info. on the 9/11 Memorial, please visit the website here.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Meeting Mona at the Louvre

So, I've got a friend named Mona. She elegant, aloof, and adored by millions. She lives in the most atmospheric city in Europe - Paris. Her residence? If you haven't figured it out yet, its the Musee du Louvre, the finest museum in France (it was a palace, after all). 

Okay, so I'm talking about the acclaimed Leonardo Da Vinci painting, which I was fortunate to get 20 feet close to, on a Tuesday, surrounded by tons of international tourists and little school children on trips. 

 A real friend of mine, named Shlomo (who is 95 years old) told me about how, growing up as a petit ecolier (small school boy) in Paris, he went on a trip with his teacher and saw this dear painting very up close and personal. As a little boy, he asked, "why is she smiling?" His teacher told him, "she has a secret smile that only a woman can have. Her secret is hers to tell when she is ready." According to my charming friend, that secret was that she was pregnant and hadn't told her husband yet! I'm not so sure as to the accuracy of this account, but it was entertaining none the less.

While at the Louvre, I was able to see so much more than just the Mona Lisa. As a European center of art and history, the Louvre houses works from around the world that I've only seen in textbooks and slides as a student. If you explore the rest of the NYC Impressionista, you'll notice how much time I spend at the MET here in NYC. I feel like going to the Louvre is a trip to its more romantic sister museum. Both are grand buildings full of art and elaborate structures, but the age of the Louvre surpasses that of the MET, and as they say, the devil is in the details my friend. Every room has an elaborately designed floor patter varying from herring bone wood to checkered tile. It's absolutely gorgeous. All in all, the Louvre is definitely worth the time for anyone interested in seeing something beautiful, interesting, and... let me say it... Instagram worthy. Even if your not really into art, don't leave Paris without taking a peak at it!

Visitors Note: DO NOT show up the day-of without a ticket, because you will have to wait on a line straight out of purgatory itself. Tickets are easily purchased online at the Louvre website here. Translate the page into your native language before navigating to the purchase page so you can understand the prompts. We flew through the lines with our tickets pre-purchased, which made the experience all the more enjoyable.


Sunday, September 10, 2017

Contemporary Art at the MARTa Herford Museum - Germany

As a New Yorker, I have had the opportunity to view museums with a wide variety of artists and influences. However, every exhibit I see is (naturally) filtered through an American point of view. Recently I have had the extraordinary experience of seeing whats going on in the European sector of the contemporary art movement first hand. Whether you are an art lover or just interested in seeing something new, the MARTa Herford Museum (in Herford, Germany) always has exhibits of current artists gracing its lovely halls. You may not 'get' or appreciate everything you see, but the effort and aesthetics put in to the visitors experience (the building itself is a "Deconstructivist" masterpiece) makes this a museum worth visiting. And they have free cocktails every Tuesday. 


 Tuesday evenings at the museum are always free at the MARTa, which is good for any traveler, shoestring budget or not! I was able to view two new exhibits: Mix it Pop Music and Video Art and Suspended Territories. You can read more about the exhibits background here.

'Mix it' was a compilation of sound isolating rooms and head phone attachments with music in connection to different art pieces. The above images are from artist Doug Aitken's "Song 1".

 The second exhibit, suspended Territories, compiles all types of media. From photography, videos, to mass sculptures, each artist adds to a discussion of identity. While either of these exhibits may or may not be your cup of tea, because there are so many artists exhibited, you very well may find something that you like hidden within it. Its also a great opportunity to get into a discussion with museum educators stationed in
 the museum to enrich the experience with the art. Also, the rooms were massive! There was so much "breathing" room between the pieces, which was great because the viewer is able to differentiate between each conversation presented.

The lobby alone is a lot of fun for an visitor. The chairs are a combined interactive sculpture. After viewing so many interesting works, you might be inspired to leave your mark on the world. The museum leaves a set of oil pastels and art paper in its lobby so that you can at least leave your mark at the museum. For a short time. My friend left the mouse.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Seeing A Curious Hand at the Schwarzman Library

For anyone who was unable to visit A Curios Hand at the Schwarzman Library this February, fret not! Here is a recap of what was shown, all without the discomfort of leaving your easy chair (or other beloved furniture piece). 

Walking into the Schwarzman building is like entering the Metropolitan Museum. The historical inspired domes ceilings, crenelated moldings, and vaulting pillars transported me far far away from the dirty, slushed up street outside.

 There are so many exhibits and reference rooms in this library/museum/archive/themepark (not really, the security guards WILL throw you out if you try sliding down the marble staircase). The print exhibit was on the third floor and spanned two rectangular rooms. The most striking thing is that.... the walls were RED. RED RED. I had to laugh. Between the ambiance and the title of the exhibit, you would have thought it was about a grisly murder mystery and not fine art! I liked it anyway, so kudos to the curator.

 As the sign discusses above; the exhibit was organized by presenting comparative works. Since Honore helped stimulate his artistic style by interpreting master pieces, like that of Rembrandt, the library coupled his prints with the originals for viewers to compare side by side (which was really cool). Of course, there were so many original works, reflecting the avid curiosity of the artist and an unceasing desire to depict the world, wild and domesticated!

One interesting find in the exhibit was Honore's original printers license! Visitors not only were able to see the completed works, but also works in progress, sketchbooks, and the stories behind the work. I will definitely be going back for another free exhibit at the Schwarzman. 

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