Monday, 11 April 2011

metropolitan musings



One particularly chilly day in New York, we went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Frankly, I was bored. I don't blame it on the Met, which I actually think is a great museum, but seeing as we spent ages at the beginning looking at Egyptian antiquities, and seeing as I study five minutes from the (free) British Museum which is full of all that stuff, I felt as though I'd seen it all before quite recently. Yes, I have no soul. Moving on...

Seeing as I was bored, I turned my thoughts to more superficial pursuits... defining what I like and don't like. I've been thinking along these lines lately with regards to style, with an aim to streamlining my purchases and figuring out what I need. I figure that taste in art and taste in style are related, and set about photographing works that I liked, whether or not I could explain why...

My conclusions are:
1. I like happy atmospheres (see below and above)
Whether it's bucolic or flirty, I like things on the light side. Life is sad enough, I want my art to uplift me (not in a cheesy Hollywood way though).

2. I like colour
The more the better. I guess that ties in with the happy atmospheres

3. I like representations of working class life:
Marie Antoinette bores and enrages me. I was brought up with a severe sense of class-consciousness and I'm fascinated by the history of ordinary people. In style, I manifest this in enjoying items like plain wool sweaters and scarves, and in trying to make do with less (at which I fail miserably).

4. I like Canadiana
Albert rolled his eyes that I liked this picture, and I have to admit, it's pretty bad. But when the world of art from the past feels really Eurocentric sometimes, I like to see these old-world interpretations of the majestic New-World landscape. And I like to imagine people in the times before TV and National Geographic looking at these paintings, and imagining...

5. I like contrast
Colourblocking and smooth round brass? Yes please!

6. I like small details, and wonderful materials
I just wish I liked cheap materials... it would be way easier on my bank account.

7. I like dragons
Strange but true. I just adore dragons!

So, anyone know where I can get some colourful, good quality clothing featuring happy, working-class Canadian dragons? ; D


Closet Fashionista said...

Haha I love dragons too!!!
And idea where to get clothing like that :p Maybe paint something yourself on a plain tee or something!

Carrie said...

Isn't that really what art is, afterall? There's something in the painting (or dragon or sweater or...) that catches your eye and may or may not attract someone else. We purchased a painting of a small seagull painted on rough wood in bright colors when we were up in Maine. We, who had no interest in art, fell in love with the thing and didn't even flinch at the $45 price tag (we, who are also some of the cheapest people on the planet). It hangs in our guest bathroom and sometimes people ask what we saw in it - I say, it's art. When we purchased it, a woman next to us said, "oh, good for you for investing in art" - I say, I purchased it because I liked it. It made me happy. I don't want to collect pieces that may be worth a lot someday, but I hate them while they are on my walls.

And P.S. Favorite dragon ever is Mushu from Disney's "Mulan" - "dishonor on you, dishonor on your cow..." makes me laugh every time.

deppa said...

Ay que lindas, puedo tener una de esas en mi habitaciĆ³n? me conformo con la que sea :)

nos vemos linda, que tengas un buen martes ;)

Kallie, Happy Honey and Lark said...

next time ill take you to the met. you have to start upstairs. the norther renaissance art up there is decent (though not amazing) and theres one picture of farmers thats, its so good. also, awhile back there was an exhibit of ancient afghanistan's art which was amazing. neevverrr start with egyptian. its too dense!

From Suns To Moons said...

Love this selection! As for the dragon clothing, have you tried Richmond? You may need a bilingual guide just to get around, however.

Emily, Ruby Slipper Journeys said...

@Carrie: Ah, love that story. I also have some fairly random things just because I liked them. And for someone who has had a lot of artist friends, I'm not very into "art."
@Kallie: Next time you definitely have to take me. Damned Egyptians!
@From Suns to Moons: Richmond could work, though I think my "good quality" stipulation is going to eliminate most stuff there!

Anthea said...

Really loved this post. I think the working class ones are my favourite. Now you've helped me identify my favourite, thanks.

Embracing Style

Penny said...

hahahah!I was with you all the way- but you lost me with the dragons :P
have you ever been to Tate modern then? I remember a lot of colour ( Miro and other ones) but not so many dragons OR anything canadian :)

Carys said...

Good to see you know what art you like! These are some lovely pictures!
From Carys of La Ville Inconnue

CAITLIN said...

sooo i just wrote a big long comment about how much i liked this post and then accidentally navigated away. seems like the universe is conspiring to keep us from commenting on each other's blogs!

anyway, i think that the only way to look at art is with an unapologetically subjective perspective. we're all drawn to different types of art, and we shouldn't try to force an appreciation just because we "should" (obvs). personally i am turned off by art that looks like it's too forced or trying too hard to "mean" something. my new favorite artist is klimt--color, texture, pretty! also, i agree--when you've been to enough of these museums they all start to seem the same (because they basically are)!

Virginie's Cinema said...

I love your pics! I know what you mean, sometimes the regular collections in museum are less than exciting... but art is awesome anyways :)


Amber Blue Bird said...

I first visited the MET on a trip with my Art class and was really bored but I ended up going back on my own one afternoon and absolutely loved it. Yes it does all begin to look the same from museum to museum but each place does possess its own gems. I too am drawn to colorful creations :)

Emily, Resplendent Tranquility said...

I think one of the best things about art, and life-things in general, is being able to say ''I like this because... I like it.'' Whether or not one is able to fully explain why doesn't (and shouldn't) matter. At least in my little universe, anyway :)

Velvet said...

Hahaha. I'm afraid it won't be easy, but if you succeed let us know where you got it!

Raquel said...

I loved to hear all your likes and descriptions.
I have to admit that I become a little bored while at museums too, especially when visiting more than one per day. My favourites so far were the Picasso museum in Barcelona, except the cubism (which is quite weird right?) and the Natural history museum here in London, that is quite obvious since I adore Biology. :D

sojourned in style said...

I like how your getting a grip on your likes through images accompanied by words. even if it doesn't always show I am a big fan of colour, need some more of that too. I like your take on the working class style, I find it more intersting to make do with what you have than what you're handed.

Blace said...

beauuuuutiful. i am currently swooning.

Anonymous said...

Hahahaha did you really mean that??? Happy working class Canadian dragons!!! LOL

Btw are you ever going to come back to Canada? Ever since I have known your blog I see you in Europe, but looking at your blog feels more Canadian than many others. :) So I wonder, although frankly speaking I can't blame you, what's with the brilliant weather we have.

I am also happy to have introduced you to DF. Her blog, despite it's lack of any glossy photos, stand out unlike any other and once you know you can't help but revisit. And as for the post. You are always one of the few people I secretly hope that will read my posts on such matters. :) I wasn't disappointed.


Twitter - @ishrattrishna

Anonymous said...

How wonderful to have enough art to discover what your tastes are. The waif at her machine is the most arresting image to my eye.