My Week In New York City – April 2012

The SIA Brat – In New York City, United States of America

[Museum Fun: Twisted Metal]

If I had been better at physics and maths, I might be an architect today. Alas, maths and science aren’t my strong suits so becoming an architect was not a feasible career path for me. That said, although I am not able to create architectural works of art, I appreciate them and enjoy taking photographs of building that fascinate me.

New York City has an eclectic architectural style. You can tell the boroughs apart just by looking at the surrounding buildings. Although I only managed to explore two thirds of Manhattan, I was not disappointed because I got to see so many architectural landmarks during my week in New York City. And one of the most fascinating buildings that has always piqued my interest is located at 1071 Fifth Avenue on the corner of East 89th Street in the Upper East Side – The Guggenheim.

I love the design of The Guggenheim. But it’s not the facade that I’m fascinated with, it’s the skylight in the centre of the museum that I adore. Look up while standing in the centre of the lobby of The Guggenheim and you’ll see what I mean.

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I’ve been wanting to go see The Guggenheim for the longest time. I think it shows considering how I went a little nuts playing with the different photography apps on my iPhone.

Since we were already at The Guggenheim, my friends and I decided to explore the museum and enjoy the exhibits on display. So we walked the spiral pathway all the way to the top floor of the museum. That was when I had my first taste of Abstract Expressionism.

The artist whose works were on display at The Guggenheim was John Chamberlain. I was fascinated by the way the metal pieces of various shapes, sizes, and colours were twisted together to form something new and very interesting. I won’t claim that I fully understand what the artist was trying to portray or say with his sculptures, but I could appreciate the work that went into the pieces.

I wish I could have taken some photographs of his works but photography is not permitted anywhere except in the lobby. I’m sure there were plenty of people who ignored the rules and snapped away, but I kept the shutterbug in me at bay and resisted the urge to photograph the pieces that I liked.

Even though I didn’t take any photographs, with the help of Google, I managed to find a few of my favourite John Chamberlain works for you to see. These photographs are not taken by me so if you want to see the original post, just click on the image and it’ll take you to the site.

John Chamberlain’s Onecaratstud during the Frieze art fair at Regent’s Park, London, in October 2010. Photograph: Ian Gavan/Getty Images

What a beautiful stud it is. I love the colours and the way the metal pieces twist and fold together to become this.

Miss Remember Ford, 1964. Photograph: http://web.guggenheim.org/exhibitions/chamberlain/

The first car I remember being driven around in was a Ford. It lived out it’s full 10 years with my family. In fact, the first car I ever drove after getting my driver’s licence was my mum’s Ford. I was devastated when my parents traded the Ford in for a Hyundai Matrix. It was an Auto car and I didn’t like it. Yes, this piece (Miss Remember Ford, 1964) reminded me of the Ford I miss so much.

I love shiny things. And I love the form of this piece. I can’t explain it, but there’s something about the curves on Hano, 1970 that draws me to it.

Women’s Voices, 2005. Photograph: http://web.guggenheim.org/exhibitions/chamberlain/#

It’s shiny, need I say more. But more than that I love how the metal is crumpled and crimped. There’s so much simplicity in the base, but when you get to the top of the structure, it’s so complicated yet so beautiful. It’s a shiny mess on the top, but in that chaos, I find myself trying to find understand its complexity by following each strand, piece by piece until I get to bottom. Why go through all that effort? To find where it all began of course. Then it dawns on me. I totally see why the artist calls this piece Women’s Voice. Do you see it too? What do you see?

John Chamberlain, Choices, installation view, 2012. Photograph: http://nowherelimited.com/john-chamberlain-choices.html

Not everyone likes modern art and I can understand why. It’s a personal preference. For me the joy is in finding meaning from the pieces. Art is subjective as is film, television, music, and writing. I won’t say I know how to critique art, but I learn to appreciate how the pieces make me feel. Every art piece produced, modern or classic, has its own meaning for the artist. So why wouldn’t it be true of the audience or the consumer too? Each person will have their own interpretation and appreciation of an artwork. Some will hate it, some will love it.

That week in New York City, we never entered another modern art museum. I would have liked to have gone into Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) if we had the time. But one of my travelling buddies wasn’t a fan of modern art. So the furthest we went was to the MOMA gift shop. But it’s okay. New York city is by far my favourite city in the world. I’m sure I will find be back there one day. In the meantime, look out for my next post in the My Week In New York City – April 2012 series and read about my adventures in the concrete jungle.

What do you think?

Are you an art lover? Do you prefer classical or modern art? What are you thoughts about John Chamberlain’s artwork? 

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One response to “My Week In New York City – April 2012

  1. Pingback: My Week In New York – April 2012 | Adventures of The SIA Brat·

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