Last Saturday, my friends and colleagues over at Firebrand treated us to a day trip to NYC to check out the MoMA. Of all the zillions of art museums I’ve ever been to, I’d never gone there. High time, I thought! I’ve spent a lot of time i the city the past couple of years, but I haven’t actually had much time to really enjoy it as a visitor. Sometimes it’s good to just step back and enjoy being there instead of bustling to improv practice or swearing when the subway breaks down or you get the piss car.
I was definitely interested in seeing the Cindy Sherman show, but after 8 rooms or so of her self-portraits, I got kind of overwhelmed. I have to say, her series of recreated art history portraits was my favorite. They were clever and well-executed.
It was actually the rest of the museum that was the real treat. It was packed in there that day, so it was hard to really have your moments with the pieces, but I did get to see a lot of cool shit. Best: seeing “Christina’s World” (one of my favorites). Although I was shocked to see that this awesome painting was sort of shoved in the elevator hallway! I also enjoyed seeing that painting of the lion checking out the gypsy, the melted clocks Dalí painting (which is actually only about 8×10), and the highlight of the MoMA trip: MY FRIEND MEG’S BOOK IN THE BOOKSTORE. (I actually sent her a note about it with a proof photo. She was surprised!)
Boring highlights include Duchamp’s dopey bicycle wheel, a design hallway championing stuff like leaf blowers, and newspaper pages in frames. Zzz.
I am usually one of those weirdos who don’t get inspiration from the actual artwork in museums, but rather from the people gawking at the artwork in museums. I loooove people-watching. I have to say, however, that a couple of things I saw there gave me inspiration to create stuff. One was Joseph Cornell’s cool-ass collàge boxes. I had a collàge class at PSU with a teacher obsessed with Cornell. And book photos don’t do his stuff justice. When you see Cornell’s work in person, it’s as neat as seeing a really cool dollhouse. You want to touch it, interact with it. I also really liked Cindy Sherman’s collàge stuff, where she cut out pictures of herself in sequence, like little paper dolls. I’m definitely more drawn to pieced-together work than I am paintings.
The most interesting thing I did see in the painting realm was Monet’s water lily paintings. When you see them in person, they’re enormous, and you can actually see how the image was constructed. That was really neat – it’s something you just can’t experience in a book photo.
After the MoMA we checked out a French soup restaurant called La Bonne Souppe. I recommend the vegan mulligatawny. That’s right, vegan! It’s effing amazing, and the bread is good, and so is the salad. Tara got a French onion soup that looked like it was heaven.
We wandered around Central Park a spell, which is always nice, and the weather was awesome. It’s always fun to go to the Park with people who have never really been there before. There was some groovy flash mob action happening, but alas, no Bubble Man. Where is he?
After all that, we ate dinner at some crazyass place in Tribeca called “Ninja.” I won’t spoil the surprise, but I will divulge that although pricey, the food is awesome, and it has really fancy bidets. Well worth your time. Trust me.