27 August 2007

Impressions at a Museum

I don't have much art training. I have one art appreciation class I took in college (and the only thing I remember from that is a lecture on corsets complete with pictures of a woman's rearranged innards from said corset and a comparison with Chinese footwear), and the childhood field trips. Since then, I have attempted to make up for it. I go to exhibits and museums and make such studious comments as, "Ooh, pretty" and "What's this supposed to be?" I have favorites: Picasso, Rembrandt, and Chagall, but, come on, so prosaic. Who wouldn't list those as favorites? I like Jasper John too, but only after a friend explained him to me.

My husband and I went to the Dallas Museum of Art a week ago. We go every so often. In fact, the day he proposed to me was after spending the day at the museum (collective "awww"). This time, I pulled out my cell phone and took pics for you guys. Two pieces in particular that I was going to make a brilliant observation about. Here's one:
And I was going to say, look at that forlorn expression, as if the love of her life had just walked out decorum dictates that she couldn't yell after him and stop him because a proper later doesn't do such things. I think there's a story behind this. The painter knew this but daren't ask, or maybe he did but the proper lady wouldn't divulge. Even the dog is sad (and beautiful).
But now I can't say any of that because the picture is so fuzzy. Stupid camera phone.
Or the next:
Modern art. Chromo something or other. Manipulative photography (you know how that photography can be...). It's of a cathedral (I'm sure immediately obvious to you). Half the cathedral is translucent, which I was going to make some astute (I'm into the adjectives today--I love em and I'm indulging) remark about how that could be a commentary on the state of the cathedral, that either it could mean that the cathedral looks imposing but has no substance or that (my preference) the cathedral looks big and impressive but is authentic, lets its people see right through it. But I can't say any of that either.
And then I was going to tell you about the frescos excivated from the ruins in Stabiano from Mt. Vesuvius. Well, here I have a real picture because I pilfered it from the web:

Did you know that more than Pompeii was wrecked by the volcano? I didn't. There was also Stabiano and Herculean (or something to that effect--after too much time looking for the above pics on the web, without precise titles, mind you, I'm too lazy to wiki it). This exhibit showed Stabiano's ruins. Beautiful frescos in amazing condition. Floor tiles. Fountains. The housing of the rich and famous. Seriously rich. They had their summer palaces in Stabiano - summer palaces of 150,000 - 190,000 sq. ft. You read that correctly.
Theses frescos made wallpapering look like the linings of the dump. And plain white paint? Fehgedabowdiht.
The amazing thing about the exhibit? They'd have half a human from a fresco and go on and on about who this depicted from which tragedy because you see how his arm is behind his back (only the top half of the arm is shown, but yeah, I guess now that you mention it, the angle does look like that) and he has a crown of some unknown materal (they knew, I don't) on his head? That means it's this character from this play where he was taken hostage and saved by his sister.
Oh, right. I got that.
Smart people.
Could you imagine having frescos? (Is it frescoes?) The patience in creating masterpieces on your every wall? I threw fits after painting my bathroom walls. I could now go on to comment on what that says on our society, but I've said too much already.


Erin said...

Ah, Heather. Posts like this feed my soul.
(You are wondering how the HECK you managed to do that, right?) :)

I just love art. Love to sit/stand/walk and look at it. Love to talk about it. Love to *ahem* make it. Love to ask others, "What are we supposed to be looking at?" And love to read about how the experts use their expertise to identify a tragic hero's elbow.

Next time you hit the DMA, pack me in your bag!

Karmyn R said...

I gave up trying to think about what the artists subject was thinking long ago - because I could never get an answer...and the scientist in me hated that aspect of it.

Elaina M. Avalos said...

I miss art museums. I think there's one in Raleigh. Which would be two plus hours away. Which I of course could do on a Saturday. Okay, so there is one in Sneads Ferry. However comma I live in a town that's famous for a shrimp festival and its "Shrimp Queen." Culture we have not.

Thanks for sharing your trip to the museum!

Jenny said...