Friday, August 27, 2010

The Aha Moment: A Revelation at the Fricks' Collection

Ciao my readers,
Originally my blog was planned to cover my travels in Italy. Yet, since this blog is meant to talk about my travels i feel my experiences right now within NYC fit with the theme.

When someone mentions art in New York City, immediately, The Metropolitan Museum of Art and MOMA come to mind. I have seen both museums numerous amounts of times and although i do appreciate many of the works within both museums after a while everything feels so monotonous and drawn out. I remember my first museum experience at MOMA, my heart was dead set on seeing Vincent van Gogh's Starry Night. i was so excited to see that painting that i treaded up the escalator ,  in anticipation before viewing Starry Night.  Finally,  the painting was finally in site and.. TA Da. to my own horror i felt nothing, Starry Night was one of many overwhelmingly famous works aligned amongst MOMA's walls.  so much for the big moment of wonderment  . At that moment, i honestly felt that  looking at my poster of Starry Night within my room was  better then seeing it in reality.  I bring up the story of my viewership of  Starry Night  not to criticize MOMA but shed light on a revelation i had today.

In my first post, i mentioned a moment when i looked at Vermeer's Girl with a Pearl Earring and broke into tears. Today i had a similar experience. I credit my experience of awe to the Fricks Collection . The Fricks collection is a hidden wonder amongst the art museums of New York City, though it is in site, it is often overlooked for its size. The  treasures beheld within this collection are awe inspiring. Artists such as  Vermeer, Titian, Rembrandt, Velasqeuz, Renoir and Ingress grace the walls of Henry  Fricks' homestead.  I entered the Fricks collection with no prior knowledge about the collector himself. the operative word here is Collector. Fricks by no means was a curator. but the aesthetic arrangement of his collections beg to differ. Similar to the Barnes Museum, Fricks arranged his collection to interact with the decorative arts. he also combines subject matter of the same artists within rooms to create interactions and narrate a story through imagery. 

Fricks home was a gallery in itself, yet he specifically had an in home gallery. The gallery featured Fricks most prized works, amongst them was Vermeer's Mistress and her Maid. Vermeer is the only artist thus far that has driven me to tears. Once,  i saw the glint of the pearl earring worn by the mistress, emotions engulfed me.  I didn't cry i just starred and couldn't stop staring.  As an avid reader of the fictional story Girl with a Pearl Earring i began to wonder if the earring worn by the girl  was the same earring worn by the mistress. I also had priorly seen Vermeer's  Maid with Milk Pitcher at The Met and immediately connected the two maids as the same being. More mysteries lay hidden within the canvas the mistress face is a blur and the regal mink she dons seems so gaudy and gauche. why did the artist portray her in such a way also who was this mistress and what is her relationship to her maid? museum goers walked by and in a way i felt insecure since i had spent so long already looking at the work with precocious eyes. but i couldn;t stop looking i then looked at the pallete of the canvas. Vermeer is one of my favorite artist not only because of his lovely subject matter but because of his technique. His color palate in merely an illusion.  i looked at each color second guessing myself : "how could that yellow mink be brown, how is that blue table cloth yellow?" 

I learned those few minutes while looking at that painting that art is second guessing and  questioning, it speaks with its imagery and  we listen through our eyes. we listen not because of the painting itself but its relationship to the collection as whole. these  awestruck moments  i have had, did not occur  in spectacle musuems like the Met and MOMA. These moments are happening in unorthadox curated and in home collections . When i go to italy i want to find hidden wonders similar to the Fricks collection. of course i am going to the uffizi and many more wonderful museums but i'm not going to underlook small churches and in home collections. I look forward to the challenge of finding these under the radar locations and what artistic knowledge they have to offer.
Molto Amore,

Friday, August 20, 2010

Ciao I Miei Amici!!

Ciao, My friends and readers,

I am about to partake in an opportunity of a lifetime :That opportunity being to study abroad in one of the most beautiful and cultured cities in the entire world. If you cannot tell allready by my semi lingual references in Italian i am referring to none other then thebellisima citta, Florence Italy!!

My dream in life is to one day become a museum curator. i love art and everything it stands for i could talk about art for hours on end . In fact, i once stared thirty minutes at a painting in such wonderment i was nearly driven to tears. OK maybe i'm going to far now and sounding psychotic about art, but words alone cannot express the way i feel about it. My favorite art of all time is the art from the Italian Renaissance, Botticelli's The Birth of Venus and La Primavera are two of my favorite master pieces and to be able to study in Botticelli's homeland and the city of his esteemed patrons is a dream come true. i may sound cliche but as you tell in this post i am so excited for the journey that awaits me.

<3 Gianna Della Rosa