I love taking pictures in museums. Faithful readers may recall a couple of earlier blog posts on The Museum of Modern Art in New York, or MoMA. You see them here and here. A few weeks ago, I went back to MoMA and pondered that age-old question, “Is It Art?” For example, Is a helicopter suspended above a stairwell art?
Is a big canvas that’s mostly red, with a stripe here and there of something else, Is THAT art?
Are a couple of steel girders suspended from the ceiling, with wooden chairs, art? These people walking by don’t seem too impressed.
Monet’s Water Lillies? – Yes, now that is art!
Richard Serra does interesting sculpture with sheet metal, usually large curving forms. Here, he just has one slab on the floor and another on the ceiling. Well, you can walk on the floor piece, anyway. I was not as brave as the couple pictured here – I didn’t want to walk under a piece of metal weighing several tons attached – how? – to the ceiling. Serra is known as a minimalist sculptor. That part I get.
Is Tilda Swinton napping in a glass box art? This is not my photo. The guard said, “No Pictures!” so I obeyed, only to find hundreds of images of Tilda online that night.
Before you decide whether Tilda is art or not, you can read the label for her, which appears to the right, below.
As shown, the title is “The Maybe.” What does that mean? Maybe she’s asleep or maybe she’s just pretending. Maybe she’s doing this, as some art bloggers suggested, for publicity or in hopes of getting cast in a new move. Maybe it’s all a joke. Or maybe it really is art.
I have to say, of all the “art” I saw on this busy Saturday afternoon at MoMA, that Tilda was the most intriguing. She got me thinking about what art is or could be. I suppose if our mind is engaged in trying to figure out the meaning of what we are looking at – perhaps that is enough.
Let me know what you think about all of this.
But one last question – two vacuum cleaners, each lit from below by a row of fluorescent lights – Is THIS art?
Working both in the studio and on location, photographer Blake Robinson serves the Connecticut communities of Darien, New Canaan, Stamford, Norwalk, Westport and Greenwich.