Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Weekend Update.

So sorry for the lack up updating - I'm back to school, midterms and studying are consuming my life and I have about zero hours for anything unrelated to school.
You are all so sweet and made me feel so much less ridiculous for being enamored with reality television, so thank you all :)

I am such a nerd when it comes to art. I could spend hours in museums, reading books, studying every detail about certain artists and styles of art. It's like an undying thirst for all things culture related, which is a huge reason why I spend so much time in the city when I'm home. There is so much about New York that just draws me to it - for one, I consider myself to really be a city girl... the big crowds, the noise, the lights - none of it bothers me, in fact it does the opposite, it draws me in quickly as I just immerse myself and take it all in.

I was so excited when my mom approached me and asked if I would be interested in going to MoMA (the Museum of Modern Art) with her one day during my spring break. This surprised me because while both my parents love fine art like Monet, Renoir, or Van Gogh, I never really saw them being open to the works of the Jackson Pollocks or Salvador Dalis of the world. It made me happy that my mom was willing to let me share something so close to my heart with her (believe me, I know how corny that sounds).

My parents and I have a good relationship, but we often find it very hard to connect on things. My dad was a college athlete, and grew up with sports being the center of his life, while my mom is extremely, extremely book smart and enjoys reading the endless medical journals that are delivered in the mail. My brother is a fantastic athlete - one of those kids who can pretty much master any sport he tries (for example, when we started snowboarding, I was 11 and he was 9 and he totally kicked my ass...he could get down the mountain without falling in one lesson - it took me years to be able to do that!). My brother and my parents have always had that connection to sports - they were the proud parents watching their son at every athletic endeavor he pursued. While I am not completely helpless when it comes to sports, I'm not a naturally gifted athlete. During high school I played soccer for four years and softball for three, and while I enjoyed being on a team and making friends, it was never something I saw for myself as what defined me. I spent the majority of the first two years I played soccer sitting on the bench cheering on my teammates, and I was okay with that.

Anyway, so my parents have never really known what kind of things they can do to spend time with me that we would all get mutual enjoyment out of, so we mostly just go out to dinner or watch a movie together (which is a hassle trying to pick something that everyone will enjoy). When my mom mentioned going to MoMA, my dad immediately jumped in and said he would love to go too - another shocker to me. So we went in on Saturday, at the crack of dawn (aka 10 a.m.) so we could catch the ferry and make a day of it in the city.

I warned my parents before we got there that they would not appreciate everything there, and that was okay. But I had this vision in my head of my mom walking up to something and going, "Why is this art? Even I could do this!" and having people roll their eyes at us and walk away shaking their heads. I think I would melt away in humiliation if she did this. Both my parents promised to keep their opinions to themselves.

We made our way across the Hudson via ferry with the sunlight streaming down onto us, and I just had this feeling that it was going to be a lovely day (particurally because my hair was actually cooperating!). We got to MoMA shortly after, and immediately began our trek through the six floors of fantastic artwork. I am pleased to say that my parents thoroughly enjoyed themselves - and they admitted that they had a greater understanding and appreciation for modern art. I won't bore you with everything that we saw there (especially because we literally hit every floor), I'll just tell you a few of the favorites from moi and mes parents.



My dad's favorite thing was the work done by a man named Sam Hsieh, a performance artist who locked himself in a wooden cage equipped with only a basin, lights, bed, and pail. During the year he spent in the cage, he was not allowed to talk to anyone, watch TV, read, write, or listen to the radio. Seriously, how much dedication do you have to have to do something like that?! I can't even imagine going a day without talking, neverless an entire year.
This guy was seriously the king of these types of projects - others included living outside for an entire year and never setting foot under any type of building or car, photographing himself every hour, every single day for an entire year, and many other types you can learn about here.

This is the actual cage that Hsieh lived in for the year (sorry that it's not a better quality picture!)

My dad was also enthralled with the collection of Picasso work. I think if Picasso was still alive, my dad would go gay for him. We spent a good 30 minutes examining every aspect of the ten Picasso paintings and sculptures on display. It was actually pretty cool to hear my dad talking about "how vivid the lines are," which is something that I myself would say :)

My mom is a huge Matisse fan, so it is only obvious that the collection of his work was her favorite. I love Matisse too - his colors are so beautiful (and in third grade, my school put on a play about Matisse and I was his mother and sang a lovely solo).

Oh my...I don't even know how to pick a favorite. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and seeing all different artists (some I knew, some I didn't) on display. There was a photography exhibit that was fantastic - it was a walk through of the history of photography with literally every style that had ever been used on display.
But, my favorite thing was probably the Jackson Pollock pieces on display. I adore Jackson Pollock, he's one of my favorites. My favorite piece by him, entitled "Number 31" covers an entire wall - it's massive and just beautiful. My friend J told me the other night that apparently Pollock was just listening to jazz and flinging paint onto the canvas when he made this (a little art history for you all!).

Anyway, if you are ever in NYC, I strongly suggest you checking MoMA out - it's so much fun and relatively inexpensive ($12 for students!) - and on Friday nights from 4-8 it's free!

I also thought this lamp was so fun!

Claes Oldenberg - "Two Cheeseburgers with everything":


After the museum, we walked around Central Park for two and a half hours, just taking it all in. It was such a beautiful day that we didn't really want to leave. We made our way to Strawberry Fields, dedicated to John Lennon, where I had never been before, and then went to Belvedere Castle, and then finally wrapped around to see the Alice in Wonderland statue, so I could reminicse about my childhood. Everyone was out in Central Park, and I loved seeing the different types of people - the Upper East side rich kids, the hipsters who would probably head back to the East Village, the older couples destined for the West Village (where they'd been living for the past 50 years), the homeless men playing their saxophones beautifully - it was such a melting pot of life experiences, cultures, backgrounds. Ah, I love it.

This is in the middle of Strawberry Fields. A homeless man there told me that when it comes closer to John Lennon's birthday, the thing is so covered you can't even tell what it is.

Belvedere Castle is in the background - it has such pretty views of the park and city:

Alice in Wonderland - I wish I could have gotten a better picture but all these kids were climbing all over it - which I used to do :)

You never know what you'll find in Central a little bit of Shakespeare maybe?

Ferry ride home:

We had originally planned to do dinner before heading back home, but honestly, I thought my legs were going to fall off, so we hopped in a taxi (hoping we would get picked up by the Cash Cab, but no such luck), before running to the ferry and driving back home.

It was such a beautiful day - I came to appreciate my parents more, and they came to know and understand about something that was really special in my life. Now I can't wait for our next trip in to see the pieces at the Frick! :)

How were your weekends? Anybody do anything super fun?!
Sorry for the enormous amount of photos - I went a little overboard :)


Hanako66 said...

I am a bit of an art nerd myself...I want to visit NY so badly for the museums!!! We have MOCA here in LA, but I have heard that MOMA is sounds like a great weekend!.

•¦Amy¦• said...

oh, i love art!
going to the museum is one of my favorite things to do.

central park looks amazing. i've always wanted to go!
sadly i've never been further east than chandler az. :( i've seemed to stay on the west coast at all times...
hopefully that will change soon. i'd love to go to new york!

lovely pictures. :)

captivateme said...

sounds like you had an amazing day! I adore MOMA so I completely get where you're coming from :-) That's really great that your parents were so interested and enjoyed themselves.
P.S I want to be picked up by the cash cab too but I'm pretty sure I'd be dumped after a couple

Robynne said...

Wow! Awesome blog! Thanks for the comment! You are def's on my reading list!

fhen said...

i love art too.. i like matisse too but i love salvador dali the most
your post about art give me the spirit to finish my painting somehow :)

Keith said...

Hey Allison. Wow! That was an incredible post. I really enjoyed reading it. All the posts were fantastic. I'm glad you had such a great time with your parents. It's been years since I've done much with my parents. They are divorced. I did go on a vacation a few years ago with my mom and some other family members. It does sound like you had a wonderful time. I've never even been to New York City. I don't count having a stop at JFK Airport before heading back to NC a visit to New York. I would love to go there at some point in my life. I bet that museum is amazing. I'm glad you were able to share that experience with my parents. I'm sure it was amazing. Take care. Hope you're having a good week. Have a great weekend. All I did last weekend was get together with my friends for poker night. We cooked a meal together, then played some cards, had some drinks & smoked some cigars. It was a cool guys night. Take care. Cheers!

Couture Carrie said...

Fab photos, darling! I looooove MOMA!


dapper kid said...

How wonderful, the photographs were lovely and bonding time with parents is always nice :) Your parents sound so amazing dear!

I have loved art since I was little, and did it throughout school and am now doing my degree in History of parents thought I was doing English for months. My parents profess to not really 'understanding' art, and they see the idea of going to a gallery as something of a waste of time. Yet for me it is one of the most exciting things ever! I make sure to take any time to bond with them though. Whether it be knitting and sewing with my mother or taking photographs of the family out at dinner. And my oldest brother was the sporty one, I am good at cross country running and thats it lol.

molly said...

loove this post!
so interesting about the performance artist. a whole year! im sure i'd go insane.

i really appreciated all the pictures of new york, because ive never been but always wanted to

Couture Carrie said...

P.S. Be sure to stop by my blog as I am having a contest today!


Nicole Linette said...

That's wonderful you and your parents bonded and connected at the Museum! Impressionists are always a hit. Unfortunately, the only art museum I've ever visited is the Louvre, which is quite great to count, but I wish there were more near my home. Have a great weekend Allison!!

peace&love, nicole.

Crazy Eddie said...

NYC is my home my sweet darling. I love it with a passion. Although I've been here all my life, I never manage to find myself bored with its sites and sounds.

I've been to MoMA countless times. When I step in I feel this electricity surging through every stem of neurons in my body. I personally enjoy the work of GOYA and Velazquez.

If I knew you were making your rounds in the NYC, I would've at least met up with you in the city and showed you around. Your personal tour guide if I may.

Glad to see that you had fun here in the city and you look exceptionally pretty in the photo of you on the ferry. Luscious you are.

Besitos para siempre

PS. I tagged you.

Tom Cupples said...

Hi Allison - see my post of July 8th 2008 all about the artists who lived down here - especially Matisse. Your pictures of NYC made me remember my last trip there in April 08.

Sweet Nothings said...

I miss NYC oh so much!

Bella said...

These photos are fantastic... you look beautiful, as always.

And I admit to loving this...
"We made our way across the Hudson via ferry with the sunlight streaming down onto us, and I just had this feeling that it was going to be a lovely day (particurally because my hair was actually cooperating!)"


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