MoMA Moments (Part 1 of 2): Seeing and Being Seen
At a recent visit to MoMA in New York, I came across some best selling posters inspiring 19th and 20th century artworks for which I’ve regained an appreciation. Regained, that is, after having my deep enjoyment of art become atrophied during my years as a wall decor peddler / online retail gunslinger.
Some of these works — the ones we sold thousands of — are still in that faraway place of retail burnout. However, it was interesting to feel The Starry Night‘s presence before seeing it as I came around a corner to face a crowd of onlookers that resembled a press conference.
Instead of looking at the art, I found myself reverting to my default “safe mode” of Meta-Ironic Man, looking at the people looking at the art… taking pictures with my little cameraphone of them taking pictures with their cameraphones and so on. Long-forgotten thoughts of Walter Benjamin’s The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction were once again bobbing up below the surface of my consciousness.
In some of MoMAs spaces, it seems as though that is the purpose of the artworks: to frame the characters who come through the gallery, an endless procession of people and performances.
Overall it was an enjoyable visit with no small amount of sensory overload. Leaving aside those works that no longer (or never did) speak to me, I did get to develop some new relationships — as well as rekindle some very old friendships — on the walls, floors and ceilings of the galleries.
Now, on the subject of rekindling old friendships, stay tuned for Part Two….
Posted on September 2, 2011, in Art, photography and tagged art, Museum of Modern Art, New York, New York City, photography, Starry Night, Visual Arts, Walter Benjamin. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.