Art & culture are everywhere in New York, you can’t toss a glass of cheap gallery opening wine from one block to another without splashing the next group of cognoscentes. For someone who’s always been a bit of a culture geek this presents a challenge, albeit a welcome one…
From Milk Studios in Chelsea, to the mad at Columbus circle and of course the icon that is the Guggenhiem the city is full of so much art that it’s hard to know where to begin. I made a list and mostly stuck to it but the longer I was there the more the list grew.
First stop, The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Met was a kind of accidental stop, I always intended to go, just not the day I went. There’s a warning here, it’s colossal & you probably need a week so a plan is essential… needless to say I didn’t have one so after staring confusedly at the map and getting help from a friendly volunteer I was on my way.
The Met was in the press recently for its punk exhibition (remember Madonna’s recent Angelica Houston via Christina Ricci inspired outfit? that was the opening) and that’s where i headed first. From Vivienne Westwood and Malcom McLaren’s recreated 1970’s ‘Clothes for Heroes’ store and the CBGB club bathroom to the punk fashion of Yohji Yamamoto, Westwood, D.I.Y Hardware and more modern pieces from D&G and the late, great Alexander McQueen this exhibition was quite simply, stunning fashion history.
Still stunned by awesomeness I ventured through tribal and sculpture galleries to the roof top where Manhattan turned up the dial. With a breathtaking view, listening to Alicia Keys ‘Empire State of Mind’ i had one of those indescribable moments of pure joy (so much joy i may have spilt a little tear or two)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art – just a few highlights
MoMA is a wonderland and I spent 5 hours down that rabbit hole. It’s a place where Warhol’s ‘Campbells Soup Cans’ is casually hung in a walk way. Where Rousseau’s gigantic ‘The Dream’ hangs to left of Van Gough’s ‘Starry Night’ and opposite delicate George Surats. Jackson Pollocks’ ‘Number 31’ dominates a wall but shares a room with Picasso’s powerful ‘Les Demoiselles d’Avignon’ and pop art wet dreams came to life in gallery’s filled with Roy Lichtenstien, James Rosenquist and Claes Oldenberg. Did some say spectacular selfie time?
5 hours was not enough, I could have spent that alone engrossed in Douglas Gordon’s elephant video installation “Play Dead”…
MoMA – a few favourites
Nathan Sawaya’s “The Art of the Brick” was a lego fantasy. A T-rex, The Statue of David, Venus de Milo, the Mona Lisa, the Scream, Chartres Cathedral’s North Rose Window, the swimmer and Nefertiti’s Bust all made from lego were just some of the standout pieces. I love lego, even still today, so here I was just glad I didn’t have an awe inspired happy accident in my pants. You can read more about this here http://lifestyle.inquirer.net/112085/brick-master
Nathan Sawaya – The Art of the Brick (most of these images aren’t mine as there was no photography allowed but i had to share some of what i saw in this crazy playland)
My last gallery stop was the not so well known “The Frick”. Although in plain sight at the SE end of Central Park even seasoned New Yorkers like the Alabama Sparkle didn’t know about this one and I have to thank my new Fire Island friends for the recommendation. Again photos were not allowed but here’s the virtual tour for a taste, http://www.frick.org/visit/virtual_tour . If i had to choose favourite places the West & Portico Galleries and the Oval Room would be it.
The Frick is not the type of art that get my pants wet, it’s the private collection of a 19th century New York millionaire heavy on old masters, grand portraits and some very famous pieces. Most fascinating for me was the clock wing, the history of time keeping that featured clocks and pocket watchers dating as far back as 1625… looking like Jaeger-LeCoultre, Patek Philippe or Breguet would produce today. Proof that the world advances but in some ways time really does stay still.
It would be easy to write a whole post on each gallery and as I write this I know I’m being a total fanboy as I relive every piece I was in awe of, inspired by and fell in love with… and I kinda love that
Break out the Butter, I’ll be back real soon.
Todays toast is served with a palette of peanut butter and jam.