Art Thou Curious?

thWhen I think of museums, I think of antiquities. Old, musty books. Relics from the Renaissance. Crystal serving pieces from the Russian Dynasty. I am not a Modernist. Or a Futurist. But I have recently discovered that I am a Fascinationist. And what a delight! Through the magic of one of my favorite bloggers, Hugmamma’s MIND, BODY and SOUL, (http://hugmamma.com), and a newly followed blog, Sandra at Third Person Travel (http://thirdpersontravel.com) , my senses were awakened by images of art and buildings that just blew my mind.

The museum was the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain (http://www.guggenheim-bilbao.es), which, in all closed-mindedness, I’d never heard of. The image that caught my fancy is called “Maman”, by  Louise Bourgeois, who, according to Guggenheim, “created a rich and ever-changing body of work that intersected with some of the leading avant-garde movements of the 20th century.” To an armchair museumist, that doesn’t ring home. Ring a bell. Ring a doorbell. But how cool is this?

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You don’t have to be a modern art aficionado to be able to appreciate a bronze, marble, and stainless steel sculpture.

Or how about Tall Tree & The Eye by Anish Kapoor?

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The Gug says, “This illusionistic work continues the artist’s examination of complex mathematical and structural principles embodied in sculptural form. The mirrored surfaces of the orbs reflect and refract one another, simultaneously creating and dissolving form and space.”

That’s a lot of four-dimensional words for a wonderful stainless steel and carbon steel sculpture of shiny balls.

I am an over-the-top advocate of teaching old dogs new tricks. You don’t always have to understand something to appreciate it. To enjoy it. To experience it. I never had sushi till I was 50. Who would have thought? Who would have thought that squeamish me would look forward to watching The Walking Dead or Game of Thrones — bloody, flashy TV shows?

Sometimes your introduction to something new is through your kids. I know my TV voyeurism came from my college son. I just tried quinoa for the first time two weeks ago. That was recommended by my best friend. There are as many types and tastes in food, art, books, and movies as there are fish in the sea. Almost. Why not open your mind to some of them?

I have to admit I would not have wandered to the Guggenheim Museum in Spain had I not spotted that unusual sculpture on another blog. Through other blogs I have seen the most amazing pictures, poetry, and points-of-view. Opportunities I never had when I was younger because we didn’t have the Internet when I was younger. We could be voyeurs by reading books and magazines and taking classes.

But now…

Now the world is open to all of us. We don’t have to age mentally, artistically, or metaphysically. Give something new a chance. You don’t have to live with giant metal spiders in your back yard, but appreciating the creativity that went into something like that takes little effort at all.

I have to admit I don’t get modern paintings that are all one color with a different color circle in the corner, or a plate with a piece of kale and a silver dollar-sized scallop and one drizzle of green that’s called dinner. But then again, not everyone finds fantasy fiction interesting (which is what I write).  There is something out there for everyone. Something new. Every day.

I encourage you to check out the Guggenheim (there is one in Spain, Venice, Abu Dhabi, and New York). Since this blog is about art, why not check out a local art fair?  They’re at  local colleges and in the park and even in the mall. Look at the world through someone else’s eyes.  And, of course, a day trip to a museum would be frosting on the carrot cake of life. Squeeze one into your summer.

It will add years to your soul life. And couldn’t we all use a few more?

 

 

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11 thoughts on “Art Thou Curious?

  1. Hey Claudia…. yes the internet is amazing for broadening horizons!! Louise Bourgeois has spider sculptures in a few different galleries – I saw some in South Korea at a museum that housed the collection of the CEO of Toyota…. he put his personal collection in the gallery so the public could enjoy it!! Amazing stuff!

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  2. I’m not a fan of Frank Gehry, but I’m married to an architect. His opinions color my own. But, that doesn’t mean this or any building isn’t worth a visit. I’ve never been to the Bilbao Gug, and I try never to comment on what buildings look like, because a building is an experience. How the windows frame what’s outside. What the rooms sound like. How the finishes feel. The quality of light and shadow. It’s all part of what makes a building. Dismissing one from a picture alone is never fair to the place.

    The same holds true for other forms of art. I could never comment on a painting, unless I saw it displayed. An internet photo simply wouldn’t be enough. I can’t review a book I haven’t read, even if I’ve read others by the same author. Etc. Etc.

    Great post, Claudia.

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      1. I’m not sure where you are, Claudia, so please forgive me if I’m confusing your possible location with a passing comment elsewhere. There’s one excellent Louise Bourgeois spider at DIA: Beacon in NY. I’m sure there are others stateside, but that one: wow. Maybe more accessible.

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      2. I live in Wisconsin. In my younger years I worked in downtown Chicago and used to spend my lunch hour at the Art Institute on their free days. Chicago has Chagall and the Chicago Picasso, and they do look different once you are standing in front of them. I spotted the Spider on another blog and went to take a look online at the museum itself. And like the Milwaukee Museum of Art, some buildings are their own creation.

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  3. Claudia I’m impressed, firstly by the quality of you writing, then by my your response to my photo post. I hope it encourages more people to be curious, to step outside their comfort zone, to take the scenic route, the road less travelled. With an open mind the whole world is at your feet. It was the architecture of the Guggenheim that led us to Bilbao. It is clearly the major work of art on the site. Like you most modern art doesn’t excite me, but there are always hidden gems, like the Maman

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    1. Your blog is great — you have an eye for beauty and enchantment. I still am excited about the Maman. Who would have thought? I encourage others to come look at your visions. And to try a new point of view now and then.

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  4. The architectural design of that building alone is art. Wow.

    I don’t visit a lot of museums anymore, other than those that the kids would like, such as science museums, but I’ve been to many over the years. Quite a few in Paris since I was once an Au Pair girl there. The Louvre. Now there’s a museum that can take forever to get through!

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