I took my first trip to the Museum of Modern Art a few weeks ago, and I felt lost–not in the sense of being physically distraught about ones whereabouts in the maze of floors and people, but lost as in being entirely mentally absorbed in the paintings. It was the first time I’ve been in a museum and spent more than an hour being consumed in the artwork. In fact, I had to break my visit into two consecutive trips in order to spend adequate time seeing everything.
As I’ve grown into adulthood and my taste has become more refined, I feel like I have a better appreciation for art. Spending hours in the MoMA made this all the more apparent as I starred in awe of paintings Iهتlike while givingهت just as much time to those that I didn’t understand. One such artist’s work I had a hard time with was that of Jackson Pollock, especially One: Number 31. During my first visit,هتI told myهتmuseum companion that I didn’t understand why it was a famous painting when all it looked like was a bunch of splatters. My friend explained to me that although at first glance it may simply look like a blob of colors, Pollock actually put a lot of thought where to place the colors and that through all of the seemingly tangled mess,هتthere is a form ofهتorganization and the colors are actually evenly proportioned.هت
During my second visit I madeهتsure to grab an audio head set, and I learned even more aboutهتOne: Numberهت31. It was discussed that theهتهتtechnique of splashing the canvas with paint requires much more skill than one may think and the even distribution of colors–black, forest green, white–becomes a play on organized tangles. In addition,هتهتthe man who first bought the painting said that during a dinner with Pollockهتhe explained thatهتhe had felt at peace with the world and nature when he made the painting.هتAfterهتlearning moreهتof the background story and hearingهتothers’ comments,هتهتI began toهتfeel the calm serenity in his work and the paradox of feeling lost inهتa forestهتyetهتstillهتfeeling safe and secure.
While I began to take an interest in Pollock’s work, I became lessهتimpressed with Pablo Picasso. While I loved his painting,هتWoman with Yellow Hair, in the Guggenheim Museum, I couldn’t talk myself into liking his work shown in the MoMA. When I think of a woman’s body I think of softness and allure, but Picasso draws his women like giant beasts with thunder thighs and cellulite arms which makes it difficult to find the figures beautiful. One thing I can say though is that his work is very distinct and one-of-a-kind.
Additionally, I wasn’t that impressed with the Andy Warhol paintings–theهتfamousهتMarilyn Monroe painting (which is justهتa small squareهتof her face on a larger canvas in bold colors) and the Campbell هتSoup Cans painting–but I did like the Andy Warhol: Motion Pictures exhibit of his art in the form of film in which he had people sit in front of a camera and replayed the footage in slow motion.
“”Andy Warhol: Motion Pictures focuses on the artist’s cinematic portraits and non-narrative, silent, and black-and-white films from the mid-1960s. Warhol’s Screen Testsreveal his lifelong fascination with the cult of celebrity, comprising a visual almanac of the 1960s downtown avant-garde scene.””
I think that using film as photography is very unique and it was really cool to seeهتthe exhibit inهتperson.هتهت Filming celebrities of that timeهت in conjunction with the trendy and innovative idea of film photography makes Warhol’s one of the pioneers of artists of his time.
The design of the MoMA itself is very cool. The architecture was perfect for a modern art building. As you walk from one side of the floor to the next there are narrower pathways that overlooks a stage on the first floor and square windows of adjacent floors–everything is crisply symmetrical.هتA fear ofهت heights actually kicked in as I was walking over the pathway, especially since thereهتwere only clear glassهتside rails as a protective barrier from the heights below,هت but it made it a little exciting.
What is nice about the MoMA is that seems to be something for everyone to enjoy. One can easily spend several hours there. I personally recommend either splitting the visit in two separate day or week visits or eating a hearty meal before going so you have enough energy to cover each floor.هتThere isهتfree admission on Fridays after 4pm,هتso expect it to be more crowded than usual Friday evenings. It would be ideal to go on a weekday, but if not, the weekend wasn’t too ridiculously crowded.
One of the most important things
I learned after my two-day visit to the Museum of Modern Art is that you don’t need to “”understand”” what’s going on in a painting. The artist invites you to make your own interpretation. What’s most important is how a painting makes you feel. So next time you’re bored and want to feel inspired, take a trip to the MoMA.