I think it's good to have a favorite artwork in each museum you go to. The work that most engages you gives you a reason to go back and see more.

This image is my favorite painting at the Blanton Museum. I like it a lot and I never visit the museum without going upstairs to this quiet gallery dedicated to religious paintings and looking. I'll sit down and absorb the painting for fifteen or twenty minutes before I move on and when I do leave the room I take some of it with me in a certain way that's unexplainable.

There are a number of works of art that get me in exactly the same way, even though they are completely different. I would fly to Rome just to see the Bernini sculpture, "Apollo and Daphne" at the Borghese Galleria even if it's the only work of art I got to see before heading right back to the airport and coming right back home. It's that incredibly powerful to me.

The Bernini sculpture, "The Ecstasy of St. Theresa" located above the altar of the Cornaro Chapel in Rome's Santa Maria della Vittoria, is stunning. Just riveting. 

Upstairs in the Louvre Museum is another favorite sculpture by Antonio Canova, called, "Psyche Revived by Cupid's Kiss" that is the most romantic (and sensual) work of art in the entire city of Paris. I have been haunted by it since I first laid eyes on it in 1978.

I was surprised to see the Leonardo Da Vinci painting, "Madonna Litta", in the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg. It's wonderful painting and equal to the combined inventory of the Chagall gallery in the same museum. There's so much amazing art in the world and it's all there all the time for us to see and reference and learn from. It's just amazing. 

We can't create well in a vacuum. We either reinvent a lesser wheel or we lose the thread that ties everything together.  We as photographers and artists are part of a continuum. Our value is in our understanding of whose shoulders we stand upon and how we can reach up and forward instead of making narcissistic work that doesn't let your voice out in an honest way.  Um....go look at art. You'll get it.

1 comment:

Anthony Bridges said...

Well said. Quite often the museums themselves are a work of art. Although I didn't really connect with most of the works at MOMA in NYC this year, the space is wonderful and inspirational for people photography.