26 November 2008

Variation on 6th folder meme

Ho hum. Getting towards the end of the NaBloPoMo thing, and while not running out of ideas, certainly getting low on motivation. Looking for something quick, I'm taking this from UnrelaxedDad, the 6th folder meme.

Instructions: Go to the 6th folder on your hard drive. Post the 6th photo in that folder.

I got halfway through the assignment. Don't you think that the person who made this up liked the 6th photo in that folder? So, I figured I could pic & choose too. Besides, I could probably find a way to sort the file so that this was the 6th, but it sounds like too much work!

The 6th photo is a photo of a Monet that hangs at Musuem of Modern Art. I took it as a closeup because I was trying to capture the brushstrokes. But, if you didn't know what it was, it looks like the camera accidentally went off inside one's backpack. So, I'm posting a picture I took on the same trip (about a year ago). I like this painting very much:

The Dance, Henri Matisse

I always smile when I see this painting, not only because I like it, but also because of my reaction the first time I saw it. Although I had seen photos of this painting, I hadn't seen it before, or at least not that I can remember. It was on my first trip to MoMA after they re-opened following a major renovation project. Since I was only in New York for a few days, I was trying to stuff as much experience as I could into the trip, and was trying to take in as much of the museum as I could. Note to reader unfamiliar with MoMA: This is a really stupid idea; the museum is simply too big to see everything in all the galleries in one day, without your eyeballs and brain exploding.

My feet were getting tired and I was about to call it quits. I walked out of the gallery and thought I was headed to the escalator. I entered a stairwell. As I turned around to go back into the gallery, I saw this magnificent painting on the wall. It is very large, 12' 9 1/2" x 8' 6 1/2", but instead of overpowering you, it envelopes you with its liveliness.

When I saw the painting I remembered an episode from high school, where one of my friends who frequently worked crew in the theatre department, was asked to help with some sets at the local university's auditorium. She, of course, agreed to do so, although she knew nothing more than that they were moving some scenery drops -- and she got to get out of school early to go help. The next day she exclaimed: I got to touch a f'ing Matisse! A real Matisse! You wouldn't believe the colors. What she had been drafted to help with was to hang some drops that had been used by The Ballet Russe, and one of them had been painted by Matisse. I was jealous then, and remain a bit so now, nearly 30 years later. (Link to website about the drops here and here)

The colors of this painting grabbed me as well as its composition. It is very muted, and that gives it a dream-like quality, enhancing the floating movement of the dancers. What I didn't know at the time is that this was a study for the commissioned painting. The commissioned work is nearly identical in composition, but the colors are much different: bright red, green and blue. The color choice gives the painting a completely different feeling. You can see both paintings here.

I don't get to MoMA frequently, but when I do, I always try to walk into that stairwell to see this work. I always smile when I do.


(un)relaxeddad said...

Oh I like that painting too - I actually had to resort to my Flickr account and treat sets as folders because of the way Macs store media. Much more interesting than mine - I should have cheated too! :)

Marion BE said...

I call it "museum foot" ... where my feet are complaining fearsomely but I'm determined to still see X and Y and Z, and get desperately grateful when there's a bench to sit on in a gallery room!

Ted said...

It's my desktop background!