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Monday, January 20, 2014

Modern art gives me IDEAS

Last week, before we attended Waiting for Godot, we walked up to 53rd Street to grab some delicious street food from Halal Guys (so freaking cheap and great) and bumped into MoMa. There was a banner hanging outside for a Magritte exhibition that caught my eye because Godot and Magritte have bowler hats in common. It had been quite a few years since we'd been to MoMa—so many, in fact, that we weren't even sure if we had definitely been there, or if we were confusing it with a modern wing of the Met or some other art museum.

We also noticed that there's a Fogo de Chão right across the street. I'm pretty much always in the mood for Fogo de Chão. This calls for a second Manhattan date.

So we made a reservation for dinner, and yesterday, we drove up to NYC for the second Sunday in a row to take advantage of free parking and discover if we had been to MoMa before (yes, we had, but who needs an excuse to go again?). Unfortunatelyyyyyyy, the Magritte exhibition closed last Monday! Sadface. But looking through the glass doors of the roped-off gallery, we could see that they hadn't quite finished packing it away, which was honestly pretty interesting in its own way.


One of the things I love most about modern art is that it always gives me design ideas that I can use around my house. For example, after seeing the white paintings at the Guggenheim, Matt and I went all Rauschenberg in our living room:


A lot of people don't find modern art (or modern music) very accessible, but for DIY, it's a godsend. Hey, that design looks cool, and I can totally copy it, at least until I become a multimillionaire and can afford to support more artists by buying their stuff (unless they're dead, in which case they don't really need my support).

Here are the works I saw during this trip to MoMa that tasted ripe with DIY inspiration.

Joseph Cornell, Untitled (Bébé Marie), early 1940s

Joseph Cornell, Untitled (Hôtel Beau-Séjour), 1954

I saw these and immediately thought, OMG, I need to make some sweet dioramas/shadow boxes to hang on the wall, stat. Then I came home and read this post from user nickyskye on Metafilter:
[...] I was introduced to Cornell when I was 11. The person who introduced me had been told by a renowned art collector that "Joseph likes quiche lorraine and little girls". I was taken out to his place, 37-08 Utopia Parkway, Flushing in 1965 with that person, who had also purchased a quiche lorraine for the occasion, in case I wasn't a suitable offering. She wanted his art and I was going to be the bait used to procure it...
And now I feel a bit ill. Still. Dioramas.

Mondrian (duh), Broadway Boogie Woogie, 1942-43
Two words: Lego recreation.

Donald Judd, Untitled (Stack), 1967
Mmm, I can totally make a smaller-scale version of this by ombre-painting some Ikea Lack wall shelves. Total cost: maybe $70.

Here is something that might be my new favorite thing at MoMa (it was just installed last year):



If you want to see the video by itself, you can view it on YouTube, but I kind of loved watching it with the noise of the MoMa cafe close by and people walking past and little children meowing at the screen, so I've posted the crappy video I shot. This makes me want to make little films of all our cats and write some piano music for the soundtracks. And then project them looping on all our walls, all the time.

Speaking of cats, this sculpture reminded me of two of ours, Nairobi and Inky, who play-wrestle with each other constantly.

Maria Martins, The Impossible, III, 1946

While I'm veering off topic, I also want to mention the exhibition about women's influence on applied design and art that yielded some great feminist stuff like this:


...and this AMAZING music video, which caught our attention as soon as we were within earshot because you can sing Down In It to that beat all day. (Hrmmm!) Once we were within eyeshot, we were like, HEY that platinum-wigged lead singer kind of looks like me. (Crazy trivia: she is now a real estate agent in Austin.)



Finally, this piece brings this post and our consecutive weekend dates full circle.
Clearly, this man is waiting for Godot (even though he predates Godot by more than thirty years):

Elie Madelman, Man in the Open Air, c.1915


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