Nothing like visiting museums to make you see the world just a bit differently. Last week we were visiting San Francisco, and we went to two art museums, one the first day, and one the second: the Museum of Modern Art and the De Young. We spent the better part of the day at these museums, since they are both huge and have a lot to see. And hear, which I will get to a bit later.
Looking at a lot of art, then walking around the city streets, everything suddenly seems like art. Building facades, business signs, vibrant sunsets, reflections on the water. It makes you look at things differently. (I know I am not telling you anything new, just stating the obvious.)
The MOMA right now has an installment of art and sound called Soundtracks, which is super cool. I especially liked the big shallow pool of water with hundreds of ceramic bowls; when one hits another, it chimes gently, like random wind chimes. I could have sat there and watched/listened for hours, zenning out.
But, there was more to see, and even more the next day at the De Young, which is located in the middle of Golden Gate Park. First you have to climb the tower to see a spectacular view of the city from all angles. Then, if you’ve paid the extra admission, the current special exhibition is a massive collection of artwork from the ancient (modern day Mexican) city of Teotihuacan.
What to see next? Tough choice, as sensory overload begins to set in after a few hours. We chose to spent some time exploring the exhibition, “Revelations: Art from the African American South.” Found materials was one theme, including a large installation composed of charred pieces of wood from a burned church. Insightful quotes from the artists were blown up on the wall, and so I will leave you with the comment of artist Lonnie Holley:
“What is art? Art is everything that we have used, waiting to be used again. That’s all art is.”