Iconic! We saw it! Andy Warhol, remember him? He painted a soup can and gained fame for it. He was the first to think of it. At the very least he was the first to execute the work and call it art. We were there. It’s about as iconic as standing before the Mona Lisa. Not the same, but nonetheless, it’s famous. I did not expect to see it nor to find it. But there! This was not on my bucket list. But we stumbled upon it. No one else in the museum was the least bit excited. It’s kind of like meeting the Beatles. Who?
Washington is full of museums and official buildings of significance. There’s no way to know what’s what or all the names of places while wandering in a single day. Photo ops abound. There is plenty to see and to admire. The museums are free. Well, tax dollars paid for most of it. Why are they all in Washington? Or, is it like the Catholic church? All roads lead to Rome?
Too numerous to pick. I was taking shot after shot. Mostly good. Pick one, or two… shots. I was not doing catalog work. I was looking for an image to stand out. Ah! Well, here’s my pick. As I say, too many images, not enough space. I don’t discard. But there is only so much time (too little) to acknowledge one’s work. Don’t spend too much time. I don’t obsess. I let gestalt prevail. View the lot and let one image catch your eye. It’s no beauty contest. No one will hate you if you do it.
In the National Portrait Gallery there is an atrium. And this was the venue for a large orchid display. Beautiful! Enjoy! And there were people to see it too. I missed the shot of a short white polka dotted dress on a tall young man with sideburns. Drat! But I got this one of a guy mimicking one of the flowers. Thank you for being there for me.
“To commemorate Women’s History Month, the National Museum of the American Indian presents The REDress Project, an outdoor art installation by artist Jaime Black (Metis). Showing in the United States for the first time, the installation of empty red dresses centers on the issue of missing or murdered indigenous women. Black hopes to draw attention to the gendered and racialized nature of violent crimes against Native women and to evoke a presence through the marking of absence.”
It’s not isolated nor limited to indigenous women. It’s worthy of note. It deserves more than a tsk tsk. What will you do? This museum, of all the Washington museums we passed, was the only one with a security check at the door. There’s not much controversy in dino bones. But here…
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.
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.
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?