Gettin’ Cultured

I’m not a museum person most of the time, I won’t lie. It takes a special kind of museum (lots of bright colors, super interactive, or content that’s something I’ve been obsessing over) for me to actually want to visit. But the Museum of Modern Art is a staple of New York City and I have to say, it’s embarrassing that, until recently, I hadn’t ever stepped inside!

Recently? you ask. Yes, I say. Why recently? you question. Because, I answer, one of my colleagues recently had a piece of art featured in an exhibit! So cool! you say. AGREED!!!!!

The art was part of the Club 57 exhibit, which showcased art that was created or performed at a creative space in the East Village in the late 70s.

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My coworker, Jon, was part of the Club (still unclear exactly what “part of” entailed — whether it meant you frequented or you paid a fee to showcase something or you did your creative work there, etc.). He told us that, once the museum decided they were going to feature the Club in an exhibit, everyone who was at all involved with the Club was asked to share any memorabilia or stories. They had to create a big collection, ya know!

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I tried to read this, but it was a lot of writing for an art museum…

The exhibit was downstairs and was two levels with a ton of connected rooms — it was actually pretty large for a temporary exhibit! Of course, we made a beeline for Jon’s artwork! (We = the people from my department who opted in for this very fun field trip! We work about a 20 minute walk from the museum and it was so nice to get fresh air!)

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That’s Jon on the left! I think he was telling us about the Club. I was probably not paying attention because I was trying to take this picture discreetly. I think I was successful.

Take a look — how legit is Jon’s painting??!?!!? The answer is VERY!

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It’s a steamboat!

People asked a bunch of questions about it and he told us a little bit… but basically he made this decades ago and it was sitting in a storage room this whole time! Thank goodness for museum curators, amirite?!

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This was a little more of the exhibit — not nearly the whole thing!

The exhibit was really large. In addition to Jon’s painting and others, there were sketches, drawings, videos, signs, and prints. So much stuff! I was a little disappointed that there wasn’t any context next to any of the artwork, so it was difficult to tell what people were trying to depict or what their frame of mind was while they were making it.

For example, take this area, which was a curtained-off room where everything was painted with neon glow-in-the-dark paint. Weird? Yeah. Also, probably very meaningful, but I just don’t have the capabilities to decipher that!

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This is depicting the mind of someone on LSD, right? Like, it has to be.

So yeah, now I’m cultured. I went to a museum. For a specific exhibit. And I KNOW a person who has something in that exhibit. I’m basically famous. I AM famous. I was a famous person visiting a museum in New York City. Yes, you can have my autograph 😉

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