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post #163
bio: jen
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3/31/2006
15:20

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Munch


I was in New York last weekend for the happy robot party and subsequent after-party clubbing and Chinese food. It was really nice seeing and meeting everyone. I would have loved to talk more, but I was floating.

Why was I floating?

On Saturday afternoon before the happy robot party, I went to the Edvard Munch exhibit at MOMA. Wowwww. I was already having a magical but slightly cold weekend, but this exhibit took me into the ether. I just need another wow before moving on. Wowwww.

After making my pilgrimage to H&M early on Saturday, I went over to MOMA around noon. The last time I went to MOMA there was a line when it opened. This time, there was no line.

The Edvard Munch exhibit had been highly recommended to me, so I went in with high expectations. Even the title (Edvard Munch: The Modern Life of the Soul) said big things are coming. There would be no The Scream painting. Hah! The Scream's for amateurs, thieves, and blow-up dolls. I'm a woman with modern soul. Bring it on.

Up to the 6th floor, I whisked. After a quick jog through New Architecture from Spain, I found myself in a crowd reading the Edvard Munch bio on the wall. A few people were reading while listening to their audio tour stick. Maybe they were multi-tasking. Maybe they didn't read English.

With the Munch timeline in my brain (he went through a lot of bad shit), I jumped into the gallery. Ping!

And time slowed down.

And I could not walk in a straight line.

And I could not stand still.

Ahhhh. Look at that. And look at that. And that. And that. And that.

And look, there's darkness and light, but the darkness is comforting, hard but comforting. If he was simply depressed, he couldn't have done it. There was something living in the darkness, something comfortable.

And then when the color came in, it belonged there. It wasn't fighting. It had to be there.

And the figures, looking away as if I am intruding on their world as if they don't have to welcome me but they know I'm there. They know the secrets in the shadows, in the dark, and they don't have to tell me. Wouldn't be secrets then anyway.

And the kissing. I've kissed like that---that kiss when you melt into each other and become one figure surrounded by red. The wildness of it. I can't talk smart about the paintings. I don't have a painter's words. Have you ever loved someone, really loved someone, and known it's not about the pretty things, but something deep and whole, something that throws you into a forest with that person. Yeah, that.

And then the later sun pictures which blinded me and the late portraits---Strindberg the hero, Ibsen the saint, the self portrait of an old man in his room.

I floated out of the gallery. I wandered through the permanent collection past paintings I had seen dozens of times. Oh yeah, the Picassos, the Matisses, the Water Lilies, Starry Night, Kandinksy, Kahlo, Hopper, photographs.

I sat and looked at the big Jackson Pollack on the main floor. The room was too big for him. You gotta contain the Pollack. Otherwise, his paint bleeds out onto the walls and echoes against the stone floor and high ceiling. That echo was too loud after Munch. I couldn't stay there. I had to move on.

Move on to what? To where? What next? I was hungry. What to eat? Where to go? It's too damn cold. I needed gloves.

I left MOMA and went back out into the cold. I had planned to go to the Biennial too, but I had seen enough. I just started walking down Sixth Avenue, just walking, you can do that so easily in New York.

Now, I'm back in Los Angeles, and I'm still floating.


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