Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Art for Goodness Sake

Yesterday afternoon, Joe and I went over to MoMA (Museum of Modern Art) which is less than a block from our hotel. We had a couple of hours and we knew that, though we don't get much of contemporary modern art, they had some work by Van Gogh, and Picasso, and, Gauguin, and Monet and Rousseau and Kahlo. That would be worth the price of admission. And they were.

But that's not what really mattered.

Not to say it didn't matter. We looked with awe at many iconic paintings. It was a bit difficult, being in a wheelchair to see past people, often those who stared at me in one moment and then stepped in front of me in another simply choosing not to see me. But. I'm not writing about that. We chatted as we went around, looking at this painting and that. We rolled our eyes at some of the modern works - things we aren't able to see or appreciate as art. We discovered some modern painters who took our collective breath away. We were like a couple of sour old folks despairing at people walking through the museum, holding cameras up to paintings and walking off ... never having seen the painting outside the screen of their camera phone.

We chatted about people. Noticed things that Ruby would love, that Sadie would disassemble. We wandered around as if time didn't exist. As if job pressures and home worries were suddenly just gone. As if hurts never happened. As if time itself had become buoyant and carried us along. We were simply taken out of our lives and into a different space. A parallel universe. The art captured us. The art moved us. The art took us by surprise. Art did what are was supposed to do.

But so did space. The space was full of people but the floors were easy to navigate on and I seldom tired and needed help to push. I could turn on a dime and stop in an instant. The floor was a floor made as much for wheels as for heels. The space provided little challenge so we could concentrate on the most important art.

The art of simply being together.

The art of time spent well.

The art of using brackets - (real) life..

We took no phones.

We took no cameras.

We simply took each other out.

MoMa gave us pictures to look at.

MoMa gave us space to easily move about in.

But we, us, Joe and Dave, spent a few hours making art.


CapriUni said...

I spent most of my life growing up and living about 90 minutes north of Manhattan, and the MoMa was always one of my favorite places to visit for just the reasons you gave here. Thanks for bringing the memories back.

Anonymous said...


the day before yesterday your post worried me and made me sad.
Yesterday your post made me think.
Today your post made me smile and think of the wonderful art I saw in Paris and of all the feelings I could exchange with my friends while talking about the museum (Muse d'Orsay) and the paintings.

Julia :-)

Anonymous said...

Sorry your view was obscured by the inconsiderate. It is frustrating. When I commented the same frustration at a gathering once, I was given a few hints. One gentleman had a loud horn on his chair. He would only use it for such purposes - people intentionally standing in front of him while viewing. The horn would startle and annoy - but was usually effective. A grandmother sitting next to him had a more subtle approach - she would sneeze and sneeze and sneeze - and people would move away from fear of catching something and annoyance. I don't think I could pull either off - probably end up laughing - but it worked for them.

What you saw - you enjoyed - and you are richer for it. Thanks for sharing.

Tamara said...

Sounds like a wonderful afternoon.

Anonymous said...

(I LOVE the new background and colors!!!)

cheeselady said...

This is the best background and contrast you've had since I've been reading!

Anonymous said...

I think this IS the best background and colors too!!!!

Molly said...

When MoMa redid their building, they put in special floors that are springloaded or something, so that people's feet wouldn't hurt as much at the end of the day. MoMa is the only museum that I can peruse in for a while because of that! I'm so glad they're rockstar floors for wheelchairs too!