You may have guessed that I have a dim view of modern art. I don’t see the point in a mish mash of paint and call it abstract art. Or that all black panel where the artist advises: “should it ever need retouching, use ## black paint.” Oh! We were at a basket exhibition at the Biggs Museum. Non-traditional ones were also on display. How about a basket made of staples? Is it ‘the more outrageous’ that gets displayed? There was a screen vase made with woven spots. And the screen was flamed to leave flame marks. At least I can see that. The most fascinating thing was a take-off on the Perfect Storm – movie and book. That maelstrom at least made sense to me.
The Biggs Museum runs/ran a photo exhibition. Submit your photo for criticism and be selected, get displayed and maybe win a prize. Oh, okay. I found out it’s completely subjective. You are at the mercy of the likes/dislikes of the juror. Submitting work is a crap shoot. You may have excellent work. You may think you have excellent work… It was enlightening to understand the process of selection. Basically, anything goes. There was stuff I would have thrown out that got honored. And the grand prize went to a picture I would have tossed. I’m not whining. In fact, the lecture opened up new thinking for me. I don’t need a juror or a show. I don’t need the credit. For as many years as I have been a photographer, it has been for pleasure. It is definitely not my day job. Although I would be happy to do a job for you. Ha! No pressure. Keep on shooting. If anything goes:
Shoot the moon. Ignore the power lines. It’s the moon. Power lines add interest. Well, I don’t agree. But….
Charge your phone. Vampire. Just scoot on in to the lecture, help yourself, charge right up. No matter there’s a photo show/op right there.
Cat/silhouette, I would have shooed away the cat. Now it is better to have tension in this picture of the morning star.
Reflections, sure, shoot ‘em if you got ‘em. Juxtapose. See things in a new light. I shot this shortly after leaving the museum.
In a single day, I broke out of the doldrums. What I learned? Anything goes. Happy shooting.
There were several groups of kids running around the museum. They were undisciplined and loud. The teacher apologized profusely. No problem. We’ve been there/done that. We helped ourselves to their art supplies. And then we made our own art. In the corner over there…the discussion was intent. Why the corner? I’ve been framed before… See or be seen?
I’ve been to a lot of museums and on occasion I get to feeling a little silly. So, I incorporated the experience in my Photoshop antics. It’s not too hard to do. I’m not a multilayer manipulator. I do a few things only. Otherwise my attention wanes. I like that they hung a window near a window. The obvious problem was with the interior exposure vs the outdoor brightness. It’s simple to fix with two images exposed with the final plan in mind. And then I simply cloned myself. It’s better than genetic modification.
Grandma Moses. Anna Mary Robertson Moses (September 7, 1860 – December 13, 1961), known by her nickname Grandma Moses, was an American folk artist. She began painting in earnest at the age of 78 and is often cited as an example of an individual who successfully began a career in the arts at an advanced age.
I am okay. But the painting is pretty primitive. Is that fair? Maybe childish? Juvenile? Here’s my point. Look at the eyes. They are just painted dots. Dots. Not even an attempt at making them symmetric. I was kind of shocked. Because you start when you are old, it gives you a free pass on technique? I guess, I should get out my paint again. I did some mickey mouse watercolor work last year. I dispatched the efforts to the junk pile. Right place, right time, favorable critics – timing is everything.
I don’t consider myself an artist. I make images now. But it is more of a technical exercise with problems to solve. You solve the problem. You have the answer. The right answer gives you a 100 on the test. You get an A. Not so fast. There’s more than just pressing the shutter button. Lots of mundane ordinary photos are taken. Famous painters – Rembrandt, Da Vinci – painted themselves in self-portraits. We presume Da Vinci was left handed among other reasons because he did a painting showing his right hand. Clever! I’m a left hander in a right-hand world. I learned to operate right-handed and then adapted. I cut with scissors from the right and from the left. It’s no big deal. But if you are right handed I deem it a lot more difficult for you than me. Ha ha. I go both ways. I have talent, but I’m still not an artist.
The most iconic painting that equates Le Louvre to art is the Mona Lisa. And did you know Whistler’s Mother is owned by France. Don’t bother to go see the Mona Lisa. Its mounted under glass and crowded with people. You are stuck with the glare of the glass that prevents any meaningful examination. I did not know “Mother” was owned by France and loaned out across the United States. We were lucky to see it in Paris. What do I know? What I can tell you is that iconic paintings tend to be in accessible or hard to find. (they’re traveling.)
I’ve been to a lot of museums in the past several years. Am I making up for lost time? Who knows? What I can say is that I now try for a gestalt overview and then a detail of the brush strokes. It helps to include the label so I can identify the darned painting later. No, even though digital makes this easy, I don’t do it. There are a few painters I recognize. Mostly, I admire the technical prowess. I cannot tell much difference. It’s me. I can’t tell the differences in wine taste either. I’m missing a gene. No matter. I have other talent and am content to continue to look and try to be appreciative. It’s a work in progress (me). Ain’t educashun gran?
For $150 million. It’s under construction and I vaguely remember reading something about it. On the approach to the Lincoln Tunnel I first saw it. Then we walked the High Line. And I got to see it up close. Not close enough to walk on it. It will open in 2019. But we could see the construction. It will be the conversation piece hoped for. I’m already shaking my head. Up and down, down and up, it’s the stuff of nightmares. Of course this is better than the social problems we ignore. It’s art?!
What’s felt? Well you have probably felt felt. It’s a soft material. The definition is more like: take some raw wool and put it under pressure and rub; the fibers will lock and form a sheet of material. Or you may use a needle to lock the material into shapes. How about a giraffe, or a dragon, or a heron? Yup, she did all of that and more. It was enormous 9as in more then 15 feet in size) and she demurred on how long it took to do the giraffe. I’d have lost interest long before the neck ever got done. Hey, it’s art! My (felt) hat’s off to you.
Biggs Museum. It’s the best little museum ever! Free food! Ha! It was a concert event for the artist. She painted with pieces of music in mind. Musicians came to perform pieces with her art in mind. It was a grand event. We were fortunate to attend.
I can read music! I followed the pianist as she played and read her score. I followed the measures. She had to play many redundant same notes following the measures as she read. I wonder? How does she keep track as she plays the same note over and over. I’m sure I’d lose track and miss a note here and there. Besides, if she did, would anyone know? Hey! I don’t read music that well. My only regret is that I never paid enough attention while my kids were in the same music theory class as Alicia Keyes. Nor did I bother to record her early piano concerts when my kids played too. But, I suppose something rubbed off.