These are a few of my favourite things

I’ve just returned from a fantastic trip to New York with my lovely daughter. A highlight of the trip was a visit to the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) which re-opened the day we arrived after having been closed for six months for a refurb.

MOMA is huge (five floors of art and sculpture), so you need to be selective about how you spend your time there. We spent five hours there and had to stop to refuel twice. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed.

There are so many famous works it’s tempting to photograph everything you see, but after a while you realise that no-one is going to be that interested in seeing your slightly crooked photo of Monet’s Hydrangeas, so I tried to take photos of art that I found interesting, quirky or powerful.

I was amused to see that all of my favourites featured people, many of them looking into the distance. I’m still puzzled about why I am drawn to these particular images but perhaps they have an air of mystery or wistfulness about them that I find appealing. I don’t suppose it really matters why you like something, just that it evokes some kind of response in your mind or in your heart.

Here are a few of my favourite pieces. I think they all share a certain simplicity.

The Moon by Tarsila do Amaral 1928
Dyke by Catherine Opie 1993
Graciela Iturbide (self portrait) 1979

I’m not an expert and I’ve never been one to buy artwork but I recently purchased a print by Holly Harper, an Australian artist. It took many hours of looking before I chose this print which is located in our bedroom so that I see it first thing in the morning. It never fails to make me happy.

The stars go waltzing out in blue and red by Holly Harper

5 thoughts on “These are a few of my favourite things

  1. I reckon the problem with these big galleries is that, although it’s a must to visit them, there is too much to see in one go and you get “arted out”. The Tate and National Gallery in London, the Gare d’Orsay in Paris and others in other capital cities are the same. We always think that it would be better if the large collections were distributed and spread out more in the regions – but countries always want to concentrate their exhibits, probably both as a magnet for tourists and as a “macho” display of wealth.
    Like your print by the way.

    1. Thanks so much for taking the time to comment, you’d be surprised how much I appreciate it. I mostly feel as though I’m writing into a void.
      I agree with your comments about distributing the art but I guess people want to go to one place so they can say that they’ve “done” MOMA or any other famous gallery. Time is also at a premium when you’re a tourist. We didn’t get to the Whitney and only visited the foyer of the Guggenheim when we were in New York.
      On the other hand I live about 200 yards from Gosford Regional Gallery and I sometimes don’t even make the effort to see the work of local artists or travelling exhibitions which is very bad of me.
      Yes I love my print! I wish I was the type of person to actually buy art but perhaps that time will come.

      1. Yes, we all like things to be in one place as it makes it easier to see things. But in an ideal world we’d spread things around more. I remember visiting the Gare d’Orsday and after working through the main galleries we walked through a room full of less well known works by the Impressionists and hardly gave them a glance. If sent out to a provincial gallery they would probably been a star attraction!

    1. Thank you so much Valorie. As you can imagine, I have dozens of photos from my trip so it was interesting to reflect on which pieces really resonated with me even though I’m unable to work out why. I guess I don’t need to be able to understand why and just learn to appreciate art for art’s sake!

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