Monday, May 16, 2011

She Never Met A Stranger

This I have told you before: Susan will talk to anyone.

She used to be pretty quiet in public until she went to a business conference in Orlando with a friend of mine, Bob Dye. During a break in the conference they decided to go to Epcot Center and, as this was before the days of getting advance tickets, they did a lot of standing in line.

As Susan tells it, Bob would just start talking to the people in front of him or behind him, and by the time they got to the head of the line Bob was on their Christmas card list. He told her this: "Just start talking to someone by asking a question, as simple as 'Where are you from?' Most people will be so surprised a stranger wants to talk to them that they'll answer you back and there's the beginning of a conversation. Everyone has a story to tell and if you are lucky, you'll get to hear it."

We flew in to New York City early on a Thursday, checked in to our hotel and headed out to the MOMA, as it had late hours that day. First stop was for a late lunch in their Cafe (yes, good food) where you sit at long tables with lots of other people.

No surprise here -- Susan started talking to the woman across from her. By the time lunch was finished we knew that France (her name) had grandchildren in southern France, lived in Australia where she taught French, had come to NYC by herself because her husband didn't like museums, was staying in Chelsea, had been at a performance in Harlem, to the ballet (she loved it and was going to go again), and had already toured a lot of the city. She and Susan compared notes over what to see over the next few days and when they started talking about the ByeBye Kitty show the people at another table entered the conversation. Never a dull moment with Susan. Stay tuned for the next few posts, it gets better. Worse?

Here's some of what we saw at the MOMA on Thursday:

German Expressionism: The Graphic Impulse, artists who were working from about 1905 through the 1920s, with a number of works focusing on World War I. Otto Dix had a series of over 50 etchings he did in just one year about his war experiences. If you want to know what can cause PTSD, he's nailed it.

Picasso: Guitars 1912-1914 included some pieces that didn't really seem like guitars but who cares, it's Picasso. This exhibit reinforced the concept that you need to do something over and over and over again if you want to move forward successfully with your art.

Francis Alÿs: A Story of Deception was a little confusing for me because, although I understand the concept of Performance Art, I don't quite get the idea of pushing a block of ice down the street. His ideas and themes were very creative and the videos were hypnotic to watch but his sketches were ho-hum.

León Ferrari has said his drawings are "an imitation of writing, like a taunt, or like a series of codes of an unknown language".

Sometimes at the MOMA I just look out the windows.

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