22 January 2013

New York City - Lots of Art

I've been in this city a week thus far... and I am loving every single minute of it! There is so much to see and do, all made the easier and better because remember how I mentioned a few posts back that I am lucky enough to be staying at a friends of a friends apartment in the very heart of Manhattan? Well she returned from her little five day holiday, and I thought that that would be goodbyes, but she surprised me by saying as long as I help out around the apartment she is happy to have me for a while more... win!

So not only do I have continued free accommodation, I now get to live with a true local of the city. An added bonus of this is that Tammy (the lady I live with) is very socially active so I get to accompany her on her many outings. The event of interest in her life at the moment is helping two friends of hers set up a gallery that will be running for a week to display their ridiculously breathtaking mosaic art that will be open to the public.

It was a great night, I even made a new friend, and the art was amazing!

They are world class artists, and it was pretty cool and inspiring to be brought into their world for at least a little while.

As mentioned I actually made a new friend whilst at the gallery, whom invited me to join him and his girlfriend at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) the following day. Awesome! The MoMA had been on my 'must see' list for quite some time so I was extra glad that I would now get to see it with some cool new friends.

And wow, the MoMA certainly did not disappoint! In fact, it blew away all expectations by having on display two pieces of art I have known about for many years now but never thought I'd ever be privileged enough to ever see with my very own eyes in real life...


'Starry Night' by Vincent Van Goph! Wow!
'The Scream' by Edvard Munch!
Now I am far from being an art aficionado at any stretch of the imagination, but even I know about the famous artist Vincent Van Goph and his masterpiece, 'Starry Night', and to be able to see his most famous painting in person I thought was a great surprise and simply pretty damn cool really.

Some of my other favourite pieces from the museum were:

Now the picture about had the most amazing story behind it, as told to me by my new friend that I was hanging out with. Apparently this is a picture in... one of the South American countries (I forget which I am afraid!) where the local government in a bid to improve the economy and general lively hood of the particularly poor locals, opted to build 10 brand new, highly classy, professionally architecturally designed buildings in 10 of the most poorest areas of the country. The picture above shows a brand new library (in the top left) that was built, with all the construction work being assigned to local companies, and all employment positions, profits and benefits going directly to the local community. The result? A marked drop in crime, a rise in tourists, and a slight rise in the local economy! How amazing is that?

Below is another absolutely amazing art display that I was well aware of before I even seen it here at the MoMA thanks to my awesome Taiwanese friend Mardy (whom I met all the way back in July whilst in San Francisco) who was already a big fan of this artists work. His name is Ai Weiwei, he is from China, and his main passion in life (it appears) is to rebel against his own country, and basically every other government whom he believes does not serve its people and is too greedy... awesome!

This amazing piece of art is basically my favourite of his, and shows exactly what he thinks in the most straight-forward way possible. It is raw, real, and powerful; I like it a lot.

Ai Weiwei's artwork. I think it is brilliant really. The above is the White House in America, and the bottom is Tiananmen Square in China.
Sadly we didn't have long to spend at the MoMA, so it definitely requires a return visit in the future very soon. Also on my list is the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Guggenheim Museum... yikes, so much to do in such a short amount of time!

I am loving New York City!


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