To me, the perfect way to spend a work day is in my studio, up to my elbows in glass. When I have a few projects on my workbenches, which is my current happy state, I'm eager to work on them. However, as an artist, I recognize the need to step away occasionally and take in some of the amazing exhibitions in art museums. Yesterday, I pulled myself away and headed to the Brooklyn Museum and I'm so glad I did. One of their long-term installations, Judy Chicago: The Dinner Party, has been on my list of must-see's and I found her work and writing to be exposing in every sense of the word. There were two other exhibitions that I hadn't heard as much about, Ai Weiwei: According to What? and Swoon:Submerged Motherlands which took me by surprise. Both were composed of beautiful, powerful and inspiring work. (note: for more information about him, please visit Ai Weiwei's page on Artsy)
I took this photo, lying on the floor and looking up the trunk of the tree in Swoon's exhibition, as I had seen someone else do. It occured to me then that one of the most important reasons to go see another artist's work is to experience a different perspective. I learned that Swoon had painted the walls in the Rotunda by attaching paint to a fire extinguisher and spraying the walls until they looked the way she wanted them. As my son would say, "Go big or go home!"
Swoon's commentary on environmental issues and Ai Weiwei's questions about freedom of expression were not topics I had been thinking much about. Getting out of my own studio and head and experiencing this provacative art was just what I needed yesterday. I encourage you to visit a local art museum to get a fresh perspective-- if you're lucky enough to live near Brooklyn, get to the Brooklyn Museum before these exhibitions leave in August. You won't be disappointed!