On Sunday, October 27th, I went to MoMA and spent the late morning and early afternoon perusing its collections. Had I known before I left for the morning that the MTA was shutting down the subways at 7pm that evening, I probably would have changed my plans and went to The New Museum and the galleries on the Lower East Side or even spent the time in Chelsea instead of MoMA. However, it wasn’t until I was chatting with a guard at MoMA that I learned the city was shutting down in preparation for Hurricane Sandy. In any case, it was good to go through the permanent collection again as I had not stepped foot in MoMA’s sacred halls in many many years. Plus, I wanted to see with my very own eyes Edvard Munch’s The Scream, which had debuted to the public only a few days prior.
The last time I was at MoMA was over ten years ago and I didn’t even own a digital camera. It felt equally amazing and odd taking photos of some of the most famous works of art in the world with a little point and shoot camera. It was more even more surreal watching the same behavior in others, who appeared to be nothing more than “photo-hunting.” I mean, all my life I’ve seen reproductions of these paintings and sculptures. Why would I want to simply snap another reproduction and move on? I love standing in front of a work of art and having that feeling of timelessness and absolute grandeur wash over me. Both The Scream and Starry Night brought me to tears, even as I watched teenaged tourists pose for fake photobombs with the paintings. I get it. Nothing is sacred. And that’s fine — nothing I can do about it anyway. However, I savor the magical feeling that deep and reverent appreciation of art allows; it’s the closest thing to religious experience I’ve ever had.
You ain’t no Picasso.
Vincent van Gogh.
Detail of a Jackson Pollock.
A beautiful Helen Frankenthaler.
Rowdy Robert Rauschenberg.
The magnificent Andy Warhol!
Gorgeous graphite drawing by Ed Ruscha!
Bad ass Baldessari.
A haunting installation by Doris Salcedo.
An finally The Scream by Edvard Munch.