Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Taking Myself On a Date to the Art Museum

 Do you ever take yourself on dates? I think it can be so rejuvenating, both for you and for your friends/partner. Sometimes (often, actually) I really want to go somewhere or do something that doesn't remotely interest Sean. He is always a good sport about being dragged to art museums, but this past Saturday, I had no plans and he was at work and I just had the urge to get out of town.

So I took myself on a date to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, where I saw an exhibit on Hollywood Costumes and fell head over heels in love with their exhibit on how they commissioned a piece from Ryan McGinniss. Up until I visited the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art on a whim last month, I don't think I had ever gone to a museum by myself before. I've always loved talking about the art or artifacts with my friends and family, so it's been a surprisingly fun endeavor to go completely alone.  It means I can look as long as I want, move on if I'm not interested and be quiet and contemplative. It seemed a little silly to drive an hour away to see a couple exhibits, but it was nice to have some creativity-boosting me time, and it gave me lots to tell Sean about when I got home. I recommend it!

 The Ryan McGinniss exhibit is a brilliant way of taking the viewer into his "studio" without anyone going to Brooklyn or without him coming to Richmond. Through blown-up photographs, tables with screens and a projection of him working, guests could get a sense of how the project was completed. It was one of the most accessible exhibits I've ever seen in terms of breaking down the process for the viewer.

 The VMFA invited McGinniss, a native Virginian, to draw inspiration from their collections and he derived graphic design-inspired "logos" that were then screenprinted on panels to create a giant piece called, "Art History Is Not Linear."

To show how he created his derivations, the museum is exhibiting some of the inspiration pieces beside examples of his symbols. They even had a free poster-size chart that's like the Rosetta Stone to understanding his piece. Is that not the coolest thing ever?

Once you begin to recognize the concept, you'll see each piece contains hundreds of years of art movements condensed into one artwork. So brilliant!

It was a great little day and I even had a chance to stop into a new-to-me midcentury modern consignment shop...more about that later this week!

How about you? Do you have a favorite place to take yourself on dates? Any recommendations?

1 comment:

Laura Rennie said...

I like going to the movies by myself now and then. When I was pregnant I went to see “Silver Linings Playbook” and snuck a personal pan pizza into the theater. :) I also love to go to Barnes and Noble and browse and read. I should do that more often.