Monday, January 14, 2008

Three and a Half Hours at the MoMA

I'm not much of an art appreciator. I mean I like looking at purdy pictures as much as the next guy, but I don't understand how some people can sit in front of a painting for hours and analyze it down to it's final brush stroke.... I just like the purdy shapes and colours. Well, I figured you can't go to New York City without delving into a little bit of cultural enrichment. I mean this city is packed with museums, galleries, theatres, etc. I'm more partial to the Museum of Natural History myself, but I thought I'd expand my horizons. I've always thought I'd like to visit the Museum of Modern Art one day, so when Sunshine and PI invited me to hang out with them at the MoMA, I said fo' shizzle. More so to hang out with my former neighbours at Cathedral Heights than to see the purdy pictures, we hadn't had a reunion like that in 7 or 8 years? The other plus side was that my favourite painting.... if I actually had one..... lives in the MoMA.... The Starry Night by Vincent Van Goh, I probably consider it my favourite in part due to the song "Vincent"...

Anyways, I ended up over an hour late because, once again I underestimated the size of this city and once again, I got lost on the very complicated subway system.... I'm used to the downright remedial version of a subway system which we have in Toronto....contrast that to the PhD version of a subway system which they have in New York.... needless to say I was lost in the tangled web they've woven.... I waited too long for a train that was never actually going to come..... I realized it too late and ended up over an hour late to the MoMA, where Sunshine, PI, and SM were patiently waiting....

After a nice reunion lunch of pad thai and spicy chicken, and a generous helping of catching up, we headed for the art....We saw this poster with "KASSAMA" on it.... "KASAMA" = companion or "mag-KASAMA"= together in Tagalog, so we thought that would be a cool picture if we all gathered together beneath it.... however, you know how men don't like to ask for directions? Well, in addition to that, I hate asking strangers to take my picture, so I insisted on taking the picture myself.... unfortunately, SM was no sama on the first try.... second try was a little better.... na "SAMA" kami lahat.... even got a bonus halo above PI

Well, being in the presence of three lovely ladies, I had to put aside my quasi-chauvinism and let a stranger lady take our picture.... with excellent results..... "no man is an island" don't you know....Here's an interesting plastic plant?....I actually recognized something, or at least I recognized that this was by Gauguin.... I'm not that artistically illiterate afterall... I really don't know how I knew that though....
Paul Gauguin. (French, 1848-1903). The Moon and the Earth. 1893. Oil on burlap, 45 x 24 1/2" (114.3 x 62.2 cm).

Life imitating art....A series of heads by Pablo Picasso....I was strangely drawn to these Picassos....
Pablo Picasso. (Spanish, 1881-1973). Les Demoiselles d'Avignon. Paris, June-July 1907. Oil on canvas, 8' x 7' 8" (243.9 x 233.7 cm).
Pablo Picasso. (Spanish, 1881-1973). Two Nudes. Paris, late 1906. Oil on canvas, 59 5/8 x 36 5/8"; (151.3 x 93 cm)

Hmmm.... I wonder why?....

I was also drawn to these big ones by Rousseau.....

Henri Rousseau. (French, 1844-1910). The Sleeping Gypsy. 1897. Oil on canvas, 51" x 6' 7" (129.5 x 200.7 cm).

Henri Rousseau. (French, 1844-1910). The Dream. 1910. Oil on canvas, 6' 8 1/2" x 9' 9 1/2" (204.5 x 298.5 cm).

Can you see me on top of the naked lady?.... I think I like them because of their cartoon-like quality.... Tu Anh would say that's because I behave like an immature child most of the time... whatever Tu Anh, you're ugly.... (just kidding, now I'm in trouble).

Speaking of big one, check out this big ass Monet....
Claude Monet. (French, 1840-1926). Reflections of Clouds on the Water-Lily Pond. c. 1920. Oil on canvas, three panels, Each 6' 6 3/4" x 13' 11 1/4" (200 x 424.8 cm), overall 6' 6 3/4" x 41' 10 3/8" (200 x 1276 cm).

So you know how truly big ass it is, here's a shot of PI trying to get it all in...

I thought this sculpture and its shadow was pretty cool....
Alexander Calder. (American, 1898-1976). Josephine Baker (III). Paris, c. 1927. Steel wire, 39 x 22 3/8 x 9 3/4" (99 x 56.6 x 24.5 cm).

This sculpture by Martin Puryear is titled "Ladder for Booker T. Washington"....
Here's SM trying to grab it while Sunshine and PI cheer her on....She really loves to get "hands on" with the art, as she holds up her favourite stained glass by Frank Lloyd Wright.... SM is a true art lover....Okay, I loved this one, I think it was called "Good water, come and get it"....Okay, but this one has got to be my most favourite masterpiece in the MoMA.....

This guy seems to like it too....
Alright, time for the piece de resistance....

Vincent van Gogh. (Dutch, 1853-1890). The Starry Night. Saint Rémy, June 1889. Oil on canvas, 29 x 36 1/4" (73.7 x 92.1 cm).

Funny how such a masterpiece came out of a psychiatric head.... or maybe it shouldn't be so surprising?

The MoMA is filled with tonnes of interesting pieces even if you just like to look at purdy pictures.... I'm going to have to come back and explore some more when it's not so crowded.... Maybe I can actually sit for hours and study all the brush strokes....uh....probably not.....

Let me leave you with the words Sunshine was contemplating here....
Starry, starry night
Paint your palette blue and gray
Look out on a summer's day
With eyes that know the darkness in my soul
Shadows on the hills
Sketch the trees and the daffodils
Catch the breeze and the winter chills
In colors on the snowy linen land

Now I understand
What you tried to say to me
How you suffered for your sanity
How you tried to set them free
They would not listen they did not know how
Perhaps they'll listen now

Starry, starry night
Flaming flowers that brightly blaze
Swirling clouds in violet haze
Reflecting Vincent's eyes of China blue
Colors changing hue
Morning fields of amber grain
Weathered faces lined in pain
Are soothed beneath the artist's loving hands

Now I understand
What you tried to say to me
How you suffered for your sanity
How you tried to set them free
They would not listen they did not know how
Perhaps they'll listen now

For they could not love you
But still your love was true
And when no hope was left in sight
On that starry, starry night
You took your life as lovers often do
But I could have told you Vincent
This world was never meant for one as
beautiful as you

Starry, starry night
Portraits hung in empty halls
Frameless heads on nameless walls
With eyes that watch the world and can't forget
Like the strangers that you've met
The ragged men in ragged clothes
A silver thorn on a bloody rose
Lie crushed and broken on the virgin snow

Now I think I know
What you tried to say to me
How you suffered for your sanity
How you tried to set them free
They would not listen they're not listening still
Perhaps they never will....
by Don Mclean



Gina said...

Now that's an interesting place to visit when we get the chance to go to the Big Apple.

tina said...

yay! I like the way you posted your journey. fun fun! and the pictures with humor in it. hehehe.

my parents are into paintings as of the moment... and so that includes me. hihi.

thanks for taking us with you... in this tour. hihi.

Midas said...

Angelo, what wonderful trip to MoMA. I haven't been.

I like the queit atmosphere of a museum and when they have comfortable couches, I just think they'r the perfect place to curl up with a book and read.

That is, without my kids giving me mini heart attacks as they careen willy nilly into the hallls and hit the walls like they're in a playground.

Gattina said...

I just saw your name on Kat's cradle Robyn's blog and remembered your Nermal, lol ! Now I see you visited this exposition and as I love paintings I looked it through. Most of the paintings I have seen over the years but in other countries of course. Here in Brussels, or London or Paris. It is strange that we both looked at the same paintings but in so different countries ! Van Gogh has always been my favourite painter, perhaps because he was so crazy, lol !

aCey said...

wowowowowow! the meuseum of modern art! and picasso and VAN GOGH!!!!!!!! i am in love with the place and i hope i can visit someday.

i love your blog!

ghee said...

heyyy,you`re updating actively again!yay!!sorry,i am late..a little busy these days. ;)

ghee said...

let me type my comment/s partially,hehe..i have a lot to say eh.

first,i agree with you,the NY metro map is so complicating compare to that one you have in toronto.oh well,maybe I can understand them more than the web zones of subways here,hehe.

thank you for the info about NY,I thought there are only musical theaters out there,no museums or art shops,LOL!partly kidding.

looked like you had a blast with your friends!i love art,but just like you,i cant stand looking at those paintings for an hour or so.

Nice of you to share those pics!you gave us a chance to take a peek at Moma with you.

ghee said...

I love Rousseau`s!!Oh gee...sooo cool!I wish I have one.

Monet`s work is awesome,too!

was that a mirror?a big mirror?its fascinating!

and the last pic...what a piece of art!its really fabuluous!!

Thanks for sharing Angelo!
Tomorrow is Friday!yay!Enjoy it and have fun :)

Me?I had fun last Sunday!

hugs to Nermal,

dodong flores said...

Hi, Angelo!
Matagal ding hindi nakadalaw. I was quite busy especially in the beginning of 2008.
Galing ng experience niyo dito. Mas masaya kayong pumunta dito dahil marami kayo.
I also appreciate this kind of art pero hanggang sa mga exhibit sa SM Megamall lang ako. At nag-iisa lang to appreciate those arts, Hehehe...
Oh, I can see your shadow on top of the naked lady :D :D :D
I like the Vincent song as well. I sang it sometimes to my friend, a polio-victim but an electronic geek also named Vincent. He's in our hometown in the province...
O sige, hanggang sa muli.
Best regards and Happy New Year 2008 to you...

Puss-in-Boots said...

Hi Angelo...three lovely ladies, you are a chick magnet, aren't you (grin).

Apart from the van Gogh, I liked the Rousseau...there was something about it that really appealed to me.

Thanks for the visit to MoMA, it's one of the places I want to see in New York, too.

haze said...

These are just wonderful Angelo! I love the shadow :D, reminds me of my daughter LOL, though everything is just real ART ! How I wish I could paint ***sigh*** !

mel said...

Angelo! Thanks for the tour. I'd like to go there someday. Those are very interesting pieces of art! I wonder where the 'Ladder for Booker Washington' leads to. Hmm. lol.

I hope you'd blog more and take us with you as you tour around places.

ghee said...

Hello Angelo!

How was your weekend?Your back to Nermal now?means you`re no longer in NY?is it good,bad or both? :)

anyway,I hope you have a nice week ahead of you!

kisses to Nermal,

Littleflame said...


Ending with that song was perfection.