The Unbearable Banishment: Whores in the Museum

Friday, September 5, 2008

Whores in the Museum

People come from all over the world to visit the Museum of Modern Art. For some, it’s the only reason to visit New York. MoMA is just 10 short blocks from my office—a few minute jaunt up 5th Avenue. Benevolent Dictators, Inc. is a corporate sponsor and by showing my company ID, I avoid paying the $20 admission fee and I can jump the queue. I’m very lucky in that regard. If I don’t pop in for a visit every so often, I start to feel like a Big Loser who doesn’t take advantage of some nice things that are laid out on my table. Plus, I really like looking at paintings. Always have. So it doesn’t feel obligatory.

I saw the Ernst Kirchner exhibit last night. I knew very little about him going in. I loved it. Do you know that thrill you get when you discover something new? I got it last night. I wish it occurred more frequently. It seems that the older you get, the less it happens.

Kirchner was a German Expressionist who lived in Berlin around the turn of the century. The focus of the exhibit was a series of Berlin Street Scenes.

The exhibit’s centerpiece was seven amazing works painted in 1914 that feature elegantly dressed prostitutes working the busy Berlin streets. He had a sharp, knife edge style that worked perfectly for urban images. The exhibit was padded with some studies and sketches, which I always think is such a cheap shot. What artist wants his working sketches exhibited? It’d be no different than authors releasing working copies of their manuscripts. It’s ridiculous. Stop it.

* * *

I felt I should have a counterweight to all that high art so after MoMA, I ducked into a theater and saw Tropic Thunder. I paid $12 to get in and it was, at best, a $5 movie so if you see Ben Stiller, tell him he owes me $7 bucks.


OpenID daisyfae said...

great paintings - and yes, a fabulous job benefit. [note to self - get feathered hats...]

September 6, 2008 at 8:21 AM  
OpenID anniegirl1138 said...

I have been to MOMA just once back in the mid-90's. I wanted to see Van Gogh's Starry Night. I knew nothing about painting so I was surprised when I saw how textured it was. I wanted to run a finger over it but I think that wouldn't have gone over well.

Cool that you can just walk in and visit over a lunch. School teachers never get perks like that.

September 6, 2008 at 11:50 AM  
OpenID nursemyra said...

aaaarrrgghhh! I just wrote a really long comment and I think it got deleted..... @%#&*

September 6, 2008 at 9:06 PM  
Blogger James said...

Hi Unbearable first time I have visited. I like art too.
Nice paintings. I had not heard of him before. The style of the faces reminded me of Modigliani (don't know if I spelt that right.
I enjoy seeing sketches and rough drawings though it adds a dimension for me.

September 6, 2008 at 9:38 PM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

daisy: You should wear your new feather hat with the Girl Scout uniform you just dug out.

annie: An artist friend of mine once described Van Gogh’s paintings as being “juicy.” Ain’t that the truth! Next month MoMA opens an exhibit of Van Gogh night paintings with Starry Night as the centerpiece. Let me know if you’re in the neighborhood!

nurse: Butterfingers! I always wonder what’s on your mind.

james: Welcome. You are in the majority. Most people like to study sketches to see how a painting evolved. The finished product is enough for me.

September 6, 2008 at 10:52 PM  
Blogger Sonny Amou said...

Cool stuff, TUB. These paintings seem a little Art Deco-esque to me, which is a compliment, and yeah, the sharp lines are pretty cool. Never heard of this artist before so thanks for sharing.


September 7, 2008 at 10:27 AM  
Blogger sid said...

Bad movie? Well I am hanging out with Ben tomorrow, I'll see what I can do with regards to that $7.

September 8, 2008 at 3:52 AM  
OpenID nursemyra said...

the comment that sailed off into the ether was about studies and sketches being included in exhibitions. It's common practice as a substantial proportion of art lovers like to see the process unfold though I understand your feelings on the subject. many would agree with you.

the major galleries who acquired stephen's work after he died also requested the relevant preliminary sketches. it's a pity as I would have liked to have kept more of them for myself but that's just being greedy as I already have several framed ones.

I envy your proximity to MoMa. I love all the museums in new york

September 8, 2008 at 9:02 AM  

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