Friday, December 16, 2011

visit to a museum (lyn)

I like to think I enjoy art, and I like to believe that I enjoy art museums.  But to be perfectly honest, mostly they make me sleepy.

Today I meet Penny and Robyn at the Guggenheim for a new exhibit, described by the museum this way: 

This retrospective survey brings together virtually everything the artist Maurizio Cattelan has produced since 1989, and presents the works en masse, strung haphazardly from the oculus of the Guggenheim’s rotunda.

The walls are stark white, and all sorts of provocative pieces hang cluttered from a big metal carousel.  Upside down police officers.  The pope dead, hit by a crater.  JFK, shoeless in a coffin.  A life-size horse with no head.  An elephant hooded as if he is a Klan member.  Boys looking like they have been hung.  A donkey carrying an old TV.  A schoolboy crucified to his desk by pencils.  A life-size woman crouched in a refrigerator.  And other unusual pieces.  There is absolutely no way I’d know what I was looking at without Penny to explain.  Her knowledge of contemporary art is truly impressive.

We start at the top and circle our way down.  In and out in under 90 minutes. Yet still, I leave exhausted.  So much information to fill up on.

I need some caffeine and sugar. I stop at Starbucks on my way home and pick up a skinny latte, but then negate the skinny part by also picking up and eating a very big, 380-calorie chocolate chip cookie.  After so much culture, I need something decadent.

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