Belinda and Kirk go to the museum.

We went to the Blanton Museum this afternoon to see the new show about portraits.  It was okay.  The show felt small, haphazard and weakly curated.  But we didn't care because after we studied the portraits we headed for a show on the first floor called, Rediscovering Beauty: the 1990's in Buenos Aires.  We hadn't paid attention to that show before but it was wonderfully powerful.  The blossoming of democracy in the 1980's and 1990's led to an explosion of beautiful art.  And art that was about beauty.  Unapologetically about beauty.

Here's a link about the show:  http://www.blantonmuseum.org/exhibitions/details/recovering_beauty_the_1990s_in_buenos_aires/

We saw work by artists we'd never heard of that was powerful and inflected with joyfulness and optimisim.  Nods of appreciation to artists like Keith Herring, Warhol and Lichtenstein were seen scattered about.  But the work was beyond a modernist reprisal.  The artists of BA seemed to fling off the quasi-academic "manifesto art" and trade it for "exuberance" art.

If you're in Austin head over to the museum some Thursday this month.  That's when the Blanton Museum is open to the public at no charge.  You're sure to agree that the trip across town was worth it.

Something about museums always makes me smile.  The first thing I imagine is how cool it would be to have about two acres of open, air conditioned space to make into my own portrait studio.  Then I smile because people are much more reverential about art spaces than they are even about libraries these days.  Everyone was whispering and staring hard at the art.  Almost as if they were trying to force meaning out of the work by dint of powerful laser eyes.  Another thing that makes me smile is the similarity in postures that people assume when looking at the artwork.  It's almost as if there's a handbook of additudinal poses for proper art viewing.  Except for the older codgers who walk up to a piece in their shorts and Teva sandals (with socks), turn their heads sideways for a squint.....then shake their heads a bit and hike off to the next piece.

After our "art encounter" we headed over to the Galaxy Cafe on West Lynn for a mozzarella, prosciutto and roma tomato sandwich (with fresh basil).  We talked about the shows.  We talked about museums and we talked about making art.  I'm supposed to have two shows in May.  One is of some big images I shot in Rome back in the 1990's.  That show is framed, matted and ready to go.

The other show is one in a local coffee shop that I committed to over a year ago.  I'm thinking about taking a short break from my obsessive-compulsive relationship with photography, gesso-ing a couple of big canvases and doing some whimsical acrylic paintings instead.  A nod to art school from decades ago.
We'll see......  If I do you all are invited and I'll have a virtual opening here on the blog.

Happy Sunday.

Love the out of focus background areas.  Refuse to write the "B" word about that.  The 50mm Zeiss ZE, in conjunction with the re-screened 1Dmk2N is my favorite shooting combo.  When I look thru the finder the whole rig just screams at me,  "HEY PUNK! DO SOME ART."


Jim said...

Ah, the "B" word. It's like Giclee. Makes things sound more more important/impressive/refined than "fuzzy" or "inkjet" when really it's just artsie-fartsie talk.

Frank Grygier said...

I think my Olympus Pen has an acrylic art filter. I still may be able to follow along. Sounds like you both had a nice day. A change of pace from running naked in the park