last thursday should have been the perfect day. I was in NY, there to look at art all day, with nobody to slow me down or speed me up. It was gorgeous outside, I had a plan, I had some money in my pocket.
First I went to an exhibit of Maira Kalman work. And I paid for her new book to be shipped to me, signed. The show was nice. Little bits of really special, really excellent, some things that were sort of ordinary and two paintings that to me, didn’t belong in the show at all. But I spent a long time looking and soaking it in, had a nice time looking through articles about her and learning some things I didn’t know.
Before going to MOMA, my next stop, I went to my favorite diner and had a burger (well done) and coffee. I had a good book to read; The Film Club, by David Gilmour, and I was just so relaxed.
Next it was to MOMA, mostly to see the William Kentridge ‘show’. To call it an exhibit just doesn’t do it justice. There were films, films sort of like something Jean Cocteau might do. They were beautiful, sad, thought provoking, entertaining, funny, scary. The wall work was amazing too. His drawings are just so fresh, so well rendered. He’s one of those people that can draw anything.
Marina Abromovic was on the same floor, sitting in a beautiful red dress, probably made for her. Anyone could wait in line and sit across from her and stare, for however long. I decided to look at her ‘work’ first. I meandered through films of her torturing herself, being threatened with a bow and arrow (her choice), screaming etc. Scattered through the rooms were more films and also reenactments of her earlier performances. Many of the ‘actors’ were naked. Buck naked. It’s a little startling to see naked people in a crowd of dressed people, and especially naked men, who look more naked than women for some reason. I just flew through everything to get a feel for it, which I think I did.
Then I looked at books and thought about buying one (on Kentridge) but I didn’t. Then I decided that I would wait to sit with MA. I got in line and it seemed iffy that I would make it in time. The museum closed at 5:30 and it was about 4:20. People can sit there as long as they want and some people were time hogs. But our line was moving along so that by 5 or so there were just two of us. Me and this nebbishy looking guy with a nice little knitted hat. He didn’t know anything about MA or her work but he was told about this by a friend and thought it would be cool. He asked me why I wanted to do it and I told him I DID know about MA and was a fan and felt this was a kind of once in a lifetime chance. I didn’t want to miss it. As he walked to go in I said “don’t use up all my time!”. But, he did. What a schmuck. He came out of the taped off area all smiles, right up to me. I looked at him and said “I really do not like you at all” and I stomped off. I was so angry, crazy angry.
But I walked through Times Sqare and went into some shops and calmed down.
When I got back to Brooklyn I was laughing at myself and looking forward to Chinese food with mom. But, I noticed my car had been towed and the rest of the night was spent in the bowels of Brooklyn trying to gain freedom for it. It would have been pretty cut and dry except that I didn’t have my insurance card. I ended up having to track down Andy using borrowed cell phones from other tow traumatized people, every last one of whom was kind and gracious, and wait for him to find and fax the card, which he did. Then mom and I got lost trying to get back to her house. But, we made it.
What a strange end to the perfect day.
We never had Chinese food. We had leftover chicken and stuffing and a glass of scotch each.