MOMA visit

My first museum visit in New York City. For the number of times I've been to New York, it's actually quite shocking how I haven't been to a museum yet. During my Europe trip, I developed a taste to take pictures (See pictures from museums in St. Petersburg and Paris) inside museums. Finding the hidden art within an art is quite fun.

In fact, when I was taking pictures, my friend PL who went with me asked why I was taking pictures from the side. Well, if you do it from the front (like the following Van Gogh and Matisse paintings), there isn't much besides "here's the painting".

Van Gogh's postman... (forgot his name) he picked up VG from the hospital after he cut his ear off

Well, I was asked (more like challenged) to find PNGF's favorite painting in the MOMA. Here's my final answer: Dancers, by Matisse. And yes, I was right.

Here's another Matisse piece. Notice the painting behind the sculpture: it's Matisse's studio... which has the same sculpture in it! Pretty cool picture, I thought. Oh, and I used my Benro monopod for the first time. Not the best way to get stable pictures though, but I guess it's good enough.

MOMA only had one piece of Monet... but it was a big piece. Having a person looking on from the side gives it a better sense of size. Too wide even for wide angle lens!

When I saw this painting, I immediately thought I liked it a lot... and now I can't believe I thought that. It was a Joan Miro piece. Arg... I went to Miro's museum in Barcelona and really wasn't impressed.

One reason I don't enjoy contemporary art is this:
Here's another reason:
The weirdest thing is that MOMA anticipated my feelings (certainly not just me!) and had a narrative for another piece of contemporary art: so modern art is more abstract (me thinks plain and simple) because back in the days, people didn't have many different perspectives and their senses were relatively simple. Hence an impressionist painting was a big step forward for the audience. Nowadays, people have much more art experience and utilize more of their senses... therefore artists turned to more abstract forms to express those senses. I.e. to challenge their audience.

Um... I guess that makes sense. I think more of it is famous artists thinking if they can fool the world by making pieces of crap. And yes, they did fool the world. In the narrative for the above red thing, the person says "it wasn't until years later where people finally appreciated..." I think it's cus people stopped arguing on whether it was good or crap instead.

When I saw this piece of sculpture, my first instinct was that this was an Aussie artist... to my disappointment, when I looked at the description, it was an American artist. Oh well. But then when I started to listen to the audio guide, it says that the piece is named "Australia". See, my instincts were right! (too many trips to Australian bars in HK)

This one reminded me of the Chu Ming pieces I've seen in Taiwan last month. More like a fake.

I wasn't overly impressed by MOMA's art. Seems like the collection were mostly donated, which could explain why it was so limited. A Van Gogh here, a Monet there, a few Matisse, and that was about it. There were more exhibits on the first few floors but were more modern art (MOMA, duh!) and didn't interest me too much. I guess I need to head to the MET some day!


Juanjaime said...

contemporary art has a much more layered interpretation.
2 things to bear in mind.

1) Divine god is gone, the world has to re-find its values of what is right or wrong, or should this parity even exist. Artists have to tackle this huge philosophical vacuum.

2) Industralisation, how should artists depict all those incomprehensible forces in machines and the rapid change in society.

Juanjaime said...

Traditionally academic paintings had the hierarchy of
1) history
2) portraiture
3) landscape
4) still life

Some impressionist tried to break the boundaries by making historical paintings ahistorical and landscape filled with political undertones.
A lot of impressionist paintings were anarchist and they painted in turbulent times where the air was filled with the fear of revolutionary zealots.

Impressionist also had a 4th dimension that is rarely addressed in earlier paintings. Time. Hence lighting. And the fleeting moment of sunlight gave it justification to challenge finely finished academic painting.

Juanjaime said...

Paintings always had a subject or scene to focus on, artists at who did plain coloured paintinng were focusing on the essence of colour. They believed that pure colour (white, yellow, red, etc) had their own right to be expressed because the colours themselves could illicit emotional response.

I personally don't like plain colour artworks, because the shock value is gone, but at the time it was produced, it must have baffled the world.

Juanjaime said...

again... it's just my side of the story, beauty of art is that it can be interpreted freely and in different times, its meaning changes.

Faisal said...

Personally, I think you're just art-insensitive. I mean, how can you not look at a hanging stick, and say to yourself, "now I understand the meaning of life"?

Josekin said...

Oh who says I can't!? Now I'm just insulted. I know contemporary art! The stick is like life... full of different colors... oh wait...

Juanjaime said...


If you can find the meaning of life through one single object, then either your life is simple or that object is god.

Plus, this object most probably was not intended to be displayed in a museum, so the object in relation to its space is taken out of context. Imagine eating MacDonald's in a Four Season Hotel dinning table.

Try looking at how the architectural space is set up in a museum and how each artwork relates to the next, usually there a story in that itself.

Juanjaime said...

Not saying of course that you should embrace contemporary art, but i think its better to disregard it after the concept is totally understood.