Diane Arbus at the Met Breuer



There are artists that inspire other artists, and Diane Arbus is one of them.  Even if you’re not familiar with her name, you’re likely to be familiar with her work.  You might recall seeing her famous photographs, Child with a Toy Hand Grenade in Central Park or Identical Twins, Roselle, NJ (which happens to bear a striking resemblance to the twins from Kubrick’s The Shining).  You might also recall a movie starring Nicole Kidman based loosely on her life.  When her photographs were shown at MoMa in 1967, the Director of the Department of Photography at the time included Diane Arbus in a new generation of photographers which he believed varied from the photographers of the past in that they “had a belief that the world is worth looking at, and the courage to look at it without theorizing.” Continue reading Diane Arbus at the Met Breuer

Unfinished at the Met Breuer



When the Met Breuer, named after its famous architect Marcel Breuer, opened in March, it promised to be the Met’s hip younger sibling — a response to the growing hunger for contemporary art.  However, its maiden exhibition, Unfinished: Thoughts Left Visible, was greeted with a lukewarm response.  Comparisons were drawn to the space’s former resident, the Whitney, and other contemporary art museums like MoMa and LACMA.  I’m probably less discerning than an art critic, but I found Unfinished to be a fun reshuffling of the deck.   Continue reading Unfinished at the Met Breuer

Public, Private, Secret at the International Center of Photography Museum



We’re fiercely private people, Lynn and I. And we’re aware — lest you think the irony went unnoticed — that the notion seems laughably conceited coming from bloggers. But that doesn’t make it any less true. Continue reading Public, Private, Secret at the International Center of Photography Museum

Manus X Machina at the Metropolitan Museum of Art



I have a confession to make: I am terrible at being a girl.  I’m tragically unromantic, I’m disastrously undomestic, and I’m really not much of a nurturer.  I pluck my eyebrows only when they’re one step away from becoming a unibrow, and I mostly sport unpainted, barely trimmed nails.  But I love fashion.  (I spoke a little about my fashion obsession in this post.)  When I find myself in the presence of pretty, pretty clothes, it’s the only time I feel 100% like a girl.  So I was thoroughly excited to finally make my way to the Manus X Machina exhibition at the Met to indulge my oft-neglected girly side. Continue reading Manus X Machina at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Cloisters


“Could I get a knife and fork?”

“There were no utensils in medieval times, hence there are no utensils at Medieval Times. Would you like a refill on that Pepsi?”

“There were no utensils but there was Pepsi?”

Cable Guy, 1996

Everyone’s a fan of Arthurian legend, whether you fell in love with The Sword in the Stone as a child, or with Monty Python and the Holy Grail as an adult.  Your favorite Arthur might be Sean Connery, while your favorite Guinevere might be Ava Gardner.  You might’ve liked Steinbeck’s traditional retelling, or Mark Twain’s humorous alternative history version.  There’s just something about the warrior king, the code of chivalry, the mysticism, drama and romance of the time that intoxicates.  And it’s those same magical elements you’ll find at The Cloisters. (No dinner and jousting though, sorry.) Continue reading The Cloisters

Tom Sachs: Boombox Retrospective at the Brooklyn Museum



Somewhere in Tom Sachs’ overdeveloped imagination, the cold, logical utilitarianism of engineering confronted the intuitive, whimsical nature of art and something unexpected — a symbiosis — developed between them. Continue reading Tom Sachs: Boombox Retrospective at the Brooklyn Museum

Roz Chast: Cartoon Memoirs at the Museum of the City of New York



Before the rise of DC and Marvel superhero blockbusters, with their visual effects extravaganzas, there was the original source material — the under-appreciated, often ridiculed comic books and graphic novels — from which their inspirations were drawn. In fact, prior to bellwether films such as The Dark Knight, Sin City, The Avengers and The Walking Dead, the only examples of this broad medium to garner even a modicum of respect were the iconoclastic satire of MAD Magazine and The New Yorker. And more than any other, the cartoons of The New Yorker epitomized the astonishing breadth of this art form, pushing its boundaries and demonstrating its wealth of profundities. Continue reading Roz Chast: Cartoon Memoirs at the Museum of the City of New York

The Frick Collection



I’d be hard pressed to name a favorite museum in New York City — it would be like naming a favorite child (if you have over a hundred of them).  But I can assure you that the Frick Collection would be hovering near the top of the list.  It’s such an intimate and warm space, and although many other residences have been converted into museums or galleries, this one still feels like a home. Continue reading The Frick Collection

K2 Friday Nights at the Rubin Museum



A friend of mine was visiting from London years ago, and had brought with her a big box of chocolates she’d picked up on a trip to Belgium. The group of us chatted as we sampled from it, when someone exclaimed, “I can only have one piece, it’s so rich!” Having probably devoured eight pieces by that point, I’ll admit that the notion of having too much of a good thing eluded me in that moment. Continue reading K2 Friday Nights at the Rubin Museum

Titanosaur at the American Museum of Natural History

Like the children who came before and after me, I, too, went through a dinosaur phase — an obsession with toys, comic books, movies, novels and archaeological journals related to the clade of vertebrates Sir Richard Owen established as “Dinosauria” in 1842. Theirs was an entire alien world that could coexist simultaneously in the past and the present, the imagination and reality. And what better place to be immersed in the irrefutable, fossilized evidence of the Mesozoic Era than the cathedral of “Dinosauria” devotion, the American Museum of Natural History on the Upper West Side of Manhattan? Continue reading Titanosaur at the American Museum of Natural History