Hmmm... what's wrong with this photo, taken at the Metropolitan Museum of Art?  No cell phones?  Check.  Don't like listening to people's grocery store wish list while I'm in my art appreciating zone.  No Camera's?  Check.  Don't want to see someone posting a François Boucher image online without his explicit permission.   No video cameras? Good, we wouldn't want anyone to get any funny ideas about roller skating through the museum.   No Sketching...

Really?  No sketching?  Whose paranoid view of intellectual property or copyright infringement spawned this inexcusable sign? 

No sketching

Although, to be fair if I were responsible for the Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy exhibit behind this sign, I'd discourage as much visibility of the content as well.   There seemed to be almost no connection between the mythological archetypes described on the wall and the ridiculous fashions that more often than not involved shredded coca-cola cans and clownish wigs.  After that, all that's left is the actual superhero costumes that the actors from the movies wore.   That might be an interesting exhibit at Universal Studios, but here its just out of place (although as a child of the 80's, seeing Michelle Pfeiffer's catwoman costume was something like a geek teen dream come true).  What was truly unfortunate about this exhibit wasn't just its inherent sloppiness, but what it signifies for the seriousness with which we take comics and cartoons.    

Kim has a nicer review here.  Well, we agree about the important things.

Like, for example, the J.M.W. Turner exhibit upstairs (ironically, it was the Superhero exhibit I was looking forward to seeing).   What surprised me, and perhaps someone out there in internet-land can explain to me - is how the critic John Ruskin came to be such a fan of the most abstract works of Turner.  Isn't this the same guy who famously said, in reference to Whistler's Nocturne in Black and Gold: The Falling Rocket:

I have seen and heard much of Cockney impudence before now, but never expected to hear a coxcomb ask two hundred guineas for flinging a pot of paint in the public's face.

I understood his reasons for berating whistler had to do with Whistler's movement away from the godly 'real' towards the heathen 'abstract'.   Very strange, anyway.

Pictured here is The Burning of the Houses of Lords and Commons, 16th October, 1834, an amazing work that I just never really appreciated until I took a good look up close.  The watercolor studies that he created for this painting have an energy that i don't think I've ever seen in that medium before- in some ways, they're every bit as beautiful and exciting as the final work.  

1 Comment:

  1. rebecca said...
    No sketching? You've got to be kidding me!!!!

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