Monday, September 20, 2010
Christy's getting old, but not as old as those artists!
We celebrated Christy's birthday over the weekend by visiting the Phoenix Art Museum to see the Cezanne exhibit. It has become a bit of a thing with me to visit the museum any time they have a traveling exhibit for an artist whose name rings a bell. It might sound strange to phrase it that way, but here's my reasoning... I don't know much about art or art history. If an exhibit comes along with an artist I recognize, chances are that artist is probably important. We've all heard of at least a few famous artists through one venue or another, be it educational or cultural, right?
By doing this, we've seen special exhibits for Monet (several versions of water lilies, one of my personal favorites), Rembrandt (wow were those Dutch guys detailed in that period) and now Cezanne (and several artists he inspired). We've also seen a French Masterpiece exhibit that included Matisse and an Impressionist exhibit that included pieces by Degas, Manet, and Renoir. As a part of those visits, I've also seen Picasso and Da Vinci. Not bad for someone who doesn't know much about art!
I figure that I'll never make it to the Louvre to see the Mona Lisa and company, so I better take advantage of what comes within driving distance. Some I liked, some I didn't. In fact my son-in-law Andrew and I talked about it... being able to appreciate art doesn't necessarily mean you have to like it. Whether we liked each piece or not, we were still able to appreciate them and they got us thinking.
Being a good Gramma, I must admit that my favorite moments at the museum were all about my grandsons. We visited one of our long time favorites "You... Who Are Getting Obliterated in the Dancing Swarm of Fireflies" by Yayoi Kusama. It's a dark room panelled with mirrors. Even the tile floor and ceiling are reflective. As you walk through, tiny LED lights glow and change color, reflected in all the surfaces. As you move, you bump into the lines holding the lights, and they move. You really do feel engulfed by fireflies... but in a good way. LOL To me, it feels like I am floating in the blackness of space with tiny stars all around me. Topher went through it the first time holding on to Grampa's hand pretty tightly. As soon as we exited, he said "Can I do that again?!" Of course, we did!
It reminded me of the like/don't like discussion. He wasn't sure about it the first time as it seemed a bit challenging in the dark and he wasn't sure what to expect. When he wanted to see it again, he was able to really appreciate the idea that art can make you think of other things. As we were leaving the museum, he saw a sculpture and brought my attention to it. I asked him what the sculpture made him think about by asking "what does it look like to you... what does it remind you of? A bright sun? A ball? A flower?" I could see the light bulb go off in his mind and he thoughtfully said "I think it reminds me of a flower with all those things (petals) around". An art appreciator in the making? Most certainly. And perhaps even an artist. When a museum employee asked him if he wanted a sticker to wear, he said "no, maybe when I am a paint artist!"