Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Sneaking Away

This summer has been full. I've tried giving up saying busy. Busy doesn't cover it. Nor do people really understand what one means by busy. We are all busy. Anyway. It's been a summer full of travel. Full of swim lessons in the rain. Art camp with clay. Watching a dear friend move away.

We just returned from our last summer trip to Philly for my cousin's wedding. It was a lovely weekend event to see "east coast" side of the family. I hardy get to see them now, when as a child, I would see them weekly. Or at least monthly. And those farther away (the ends of the earth it was, those who lived 3 hours by car) were seen once or twice a year. We are all grown now. All adults. All different. Yet still bound by a familiar glue that makes getting together easy. and comfortable. But maybe that was just the wine talking.

The day after the wedding, Smith & I stole away from the hotel in the wee hours of the morning to take a train to NY. Baba (aka grandma) sweetly offered to amuse the kids for the day as we celebrated Smith's birthday. We left before the first demands of the day were uttered. We felt like teenagers sneaking out in the night. We left the lush green environs of Pennsylvania suburbia to next breathe the air on the streets of NY. It was a bit surreal.

[interject a scathing remark about the lack of civilized public transportation in Texas here.]

We enjoyed a leisurely breakfast and then strolled to MOMA for the Richard Serra exhibit. We had seen an interview with the artist on PBS about this retrospective and were blown away by the clarity of his speech - the depth with which he spoke about his work. MOMA was crowded (even on a Monday morning first thing) but we were able to take it all in. Encountering the work without any background one would most likely be underwhelmed by the work. Mammoth slabs of metal leaning on each other, or curved around in funky shapes? sigh. But it is the process of these works and the development from one phase of his exploration to the next that gives each piece its richness. This isn't necessarily "art" in the sense of seeing beauty or being presented with a vision of the artist. These works seem more like the artist's explorations of simple nature - what does it mean "to lift?" what does that look like? How can it be expressed? His later works - he blows the question up to a large scale and forces the viewer into the art - what does this space feel like? What do you see here? Why? Our train ride home was full of artful musings.

Happy Birthday Honey.
I'd walk a hundred miles to look at large slabs of lead with you any day.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Does that mean we can go dumpster diving more often?