Friday, October 21, 2011

Occupy MOMA? The Modern Museums of Art are my homes in large cities.

When recently in NYC I wanted to go to the Brooklyn bridge and paint the Occupy Wall Street protesters on my mobile art device - iPad - but did not find the time. I am feeling sympathy for the protest. I too worry about the skewed income distribution and the disregard for the public good, and the short sightedness of policies. I've come to the conclusion that only countries in which there is a general agreement to pool resources, in the form of taxes, for the common good, will function well in the long run. And, that the tax collection has to work well too - and not just for middle income salary-earners whose incomes are transparent and easily taxed.

But I find myself unhappy about my beloved MoMA being occupied!

When I was a student in Stockholm I spent as much time as possible at the Modern Museum of Art on Skeppsholmen, enthusiastically participating in all the avant grade activities. Pontus Hulten, who later headed the Centre Pompidou in Paris, was in charge. His mother, renown artist, Siri Derkert embellished one of the new subway stations. I remember walking through Niki de Saint Phalle's She, the arrival of op, and pop and all the other iconoclastic trends - those were exiting days. I seldom miss visiting the SFMOMA when in the City. A couple of years ago I discovered a series of transfer drawings by Paul Klee, which inspired me to pursue this technique used in my Cycling Lucia series.

When in NYC during first weekend of October, I made for MoMA my first day there. Had a lovely, expensive lunch then joined the large crowds checking out de Kooning: A Retrospective, and ended the visit by sitting down and making an homage to de Kooning on my iPad.

Here's an article about the protest at the MoMA. What do you think of this development? Are our large art institutions elitist? Do they exclude people? While a student in Stockholm I had very inexpensive access to all our museums and theaters, including the nose bleed section of the opera. Our beloved Ingmar Bergman had a say in this policy.

Images: "Smiling Cycling Lucia", transfer drawing; "Ripping off de Kooning at the MoMA", iPad painting, both by me; "She" by Niki de Saint Phalle - a walk though sculpture large as a room!

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1 comment:

  1. We plan to go to the MOMA in a couple of weeks. Haven't been there since I was a kid. Most museums have free days, and membership/kid discounts. When we lived in SF, we took the kids to art (and science) museums on the free or discount days. A day in a world class museum seems worth $25 for those that can afford it, as long as they leave some open time for those that can't.