Saturday, December 29, 2007

Don't go to MoMA on the Saturday before New Year's

There will be a shitload of people there. A metric shitload. Like goddamn.

I really wanted to check out the Seurat exhibit. They had a bunch of drawings by the man. While I was familiar with his pointillism paintings the few drawings I saw were compelling enough for me to go check it out.

And I must say, I really do enjoy is crayon/charcoal work a whole lot more. I personally like charcoal, but that wasn't the only reason. Seeing his crayon work on paper, you get a sense of where he's coming from and going with the paintings he did. In fact, they had a couple of studies for paintings such as "A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte" side by side for comparison. At the same time I found the crayon work more compelling. It was kind of amazing actually, because it was a very impressionistic minimalist style, mostly shades and blobs, yet he managed to make them very expressive. I especially loved how he created these very dark pieces since a huge chunk of them involved large areas of black crayon, but then there'd be the glow of a face, or some faint outlines that seemed so delicate and almost nonexistent, yet the entire work seemed extremely detailed and alive amidst the gloom. It didn't look depressing or just blah with the sameness of varying shades of gray and black. It somehow managed to be dynamic still.

Got to wander around other parts of the museum as well. I was pleased to see some work that I liked as well as artwork from artists recognized. My museum grazing is a bit weird because I'll walk around the room seeing things from afar in a scanning matter, then only walk up close to look at things that catch my eye. In room I spotted a Gilbert and George sort of sauntered up to it like an old friend and stood in front of a it for bit. Then I turned around and my eyes locked onto a piece by Lisa Yuskavage. It was pretty awesome because I'd been looking around to see if I could find an exhibit for a while but always managed to fail, so needless to say I was a bit excited to see one in person finally. It was large and luminous. Reproductions really do not do it any justice. I always told myself if I were ever to pose nude for an artist, she'd be the only one.

I don't know, I'm not a real art connoiseur, so I have a hard time explaining what it is I like. I think subject matter matters to me, but it's a very subjective, makes sense only to me type of reasoning based mostly on my desire and jealousy in regards to certain skills, techniques and styles, as well as subject matter.

So in my head I started cataloging a list of the artists I like, starting with the first one I can think of. But as I start seeing a pattern, at the same time I find the list spreading out into directions where the lines connecting any of them start to get pretty tenuous. I have yet to somehow intelligently gather the threads into a theory I like. Lisa Yuskavage, Hans Bellmer, Egon Schiele, Audrey Kawasaki, Aubrey Beardsley, Alphonse Mucha, Max Ernst, Albrecht Durer...Joseph Cornell? Henry Darger?? What about comic artists? Takehiko Inoue, for example...and it goes on and on and I then lose my connections to anything entirely. I guess I don't really need to explain my tastes to anyone, but I feel frustrated not being able to intelligently articulate what or why I like about it.

I ended up zooming through "Nausea." It's not a thick book, but I didn't think I'd finish reading it that fast. It made me think of Camus, and then it made me think "Wait, why the hell did I like 'The Plague' more than 'The Stranger'?" I need to reread those.

Luckily, I'm rollin' in reading material. Speaking of rolling in reading material, Josh from The High Strung emailed me a book of his. It was in pdf format so I decided I was going to print the whole thing out since. Now I'm not so sure how I'm going to carry this around to read it. I'm continuously distressed by the idea that I'll drop the whole mess of it and all the pages will be out of order and just everywhere. It probably would've been smarter if I'd just printed out 50 pages at a time for a more manageable size instead of risking devastating page discombobulation. My eagerness to have it in physical form got the better of me. I think I should go separate them into manageable sizes now before I really do drop/trip/scatter the pages.

But before I get into that bit of horror tome, I'm going to need a cleanser of sorts from novels so I've started reading "A History of Christianity: Volume I." Obviously, I won't finish the whole thing, but just to start with a couple of chapters. Another weird thing about me. Interest in church/Christianity development and history. I entirely blame this on a sort of what I call a Stockholm Syndrome created from twelve years of having a religious education. You'd think I'd be all religioned out, but obviously mandatory Bible classes and a library full of books like "Foxe's Book of Martyrs" that were read at an incredibly young age leaves me in a weird position about how I feel about Religion with a capital "R" that I'm still trying to figure out, but also instills an inordinate amount of interest in church history and expression of human faith. I think the latter also stemmed from/grew into (it's a chicken/egg argument) an interest in revolutions and social changes. Even when they fuck the hell up. Because something about the power when people get together and put their belief and strength into it fascinates me. It's not a "oh shit, how cool" response to violent riots, bloody upheavals, or subscription to anyone political view but more a sort of awe in what can be accomplished and transpire and also an inexplicable desire to dissect each domino in the large domino setup of an event and to see what was the finger to push that first domino.

Hmm, well that got a bit long-winded and self-involved. I need to remind myself not to get carried away so much...


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