Thoughts on Life, Art, Photography, Technology, Teaching and Travel…..
In 2011 the throngs of people visiting the great museums like the MOMA seem more concerned about taking cell phone photographs of the great art hanging in the galleries than they are about truly LOOKING and APPRECIATING the art itself.
Museum visitors used to stand close to the great paintings and other works of art to scrutinize the brush work and at least make an attempt to analyze and try to understand the WHY behind great art.
It seems these days most people stand back from the art in order to get a good cell phone photograph of that Van Gogh or Picasso painting. As I walked around the MOMA in NYC I noticed this kind of flowing rhythm with the crowd of museum goers just meandering from painting to painting pulling out cell phones and taking grab shots and then moving on to the next famous work of art. There was no real attention payed to the art itself – just take the photo and move on to the next painting or sculpture.
I found this behavior very interesting to observe and I suppose a statement about our digital “cell phone” culture so I whipped out my cell phone and photographed people photographing art at the MOMA. So many people are so absorbed with their cell phones they don’t seem to be able to “step-out” of that mode and enjoy the art itself up close and personal. I am not making judgments here – just an observation. So what is more important…enjoying a few moments truly looking at the real thing or using those precious seconds photographing Starry Night for example to send to a friend in Kentucky or Mom and Dad in California.
The one thing I love about going to art museums like the MOMA is not only getting to immerse myself in the great art – it also fuels my imagination and is an inspiration for my own art making. It’s like a creative jolt! So next time you visit a museum…I suppose its ok to shoot photos of the art, but in addition to that take a moment to really look at it after you get that photo and send it off to Uncle Joe in Cleveland.