While playing tour guide to the “city that never sleeps” for my previously mentioned friend last fall, I said we had to visit the MoMA. As soon as he said he’d never been to an art museum before, there was no doubt, we were going. Luckily, he’s easy going and up for anything, much like myself thinking of it as a new adventure.
My friend is a fellow theatre geek and performs regularly during the Renaissance Faire season. He may know of artists such as Monet and Picasso, but not necessarily their paintings, and vice versa. Though I’m relatively more knowledgeable, I’m no expert- nor do I claim to be. Nor is recognizing names and works a prerequisite in enjoying and liking art. Actually, I almost envied him his lack of knowledge, whereas I had to mentally switch off my brain. I wasn’t with my painter friend; I didn’t want to analyze and talk about methods and discuss Andy Warhol’s decision to paint Campbell soup cans. Even attending theatre, I find it hard at times to turn of the techie and designer within. A professor once told my class before going to see a play, to just sit and watch the show and not think about all the technical aspects. I try to do just that, and tried that day as well to simply breathe it all in and enjoy.
Walking into the first gallery, I thought my friend’s eyes were going to pop out of his head. I couldn’t help but grin as he just stood there in awe looking at the masterpieces covering the walls before him. We spent four hours lost in the MoMA, gazing at paintings, sculptures, etc.
Part of the entertainment for me was watching him and his reactions to the plethora of pieces. He thought it was cool to see Warhol’s painting of Marilyn Monroe and he took a photo of Van Gogh’s Starry Night so he could brag to his friends back home. But what really took the cake, was when he saw Monet’s Water Lilies that spanned the entire wall. It was absolutely delightful to see such innocent wonderment and the glimmer in his eyes. He couldn’t believe what he was seeing. I felt like I had just given a child the best present in the universe. We spent many minutes taking in the 19 ½’ wide painting. It was a pretty unbelievable and amazing piece to behold and once again I was able to see through the eyes of a child.
Walking out of the museum, I asked him if he’d go to another. He gave me the Don’t Be Stupid Look. So next time we see each other, whether in New York City, Montreal, or San Francisco most assuredly we’ll be visiting at least one art museum. I can hardly wait.