My 13 Most Memorable New York Art Moments

My trip to New York happened four months ago (to which I can’t help but say, where the heck did time go?) and even though this post is so, so late, cultural posts about New York are always relevant.

I am an absolute art freak and like London, New York is a haven for people like me. My friend and I went to three museums: the MoMA, Guggenheim and Metropolitan Museum Of Art. They were all wonderful in their own ways, full of precious gems and iconic pieces – and whilst I would probably have to say my absolute favourite was the Met because of the sheer abundance of incredible art and the striking architectural elements within its building, I’m thrilled I got to see all of them.

I would love to share the hundreds of pictures I took in all three museums (another thing that I loved about New York museums – you can take pictures!), but I thought I’d pretend to be civil and choosy by sharing 13 (couldn’t do 10, soz) of my favourite memories from what was a fantastic art overdose in the Big Apple.

Kandinsky at the Guggenheim: I’m not big on abstract art but I do find 19th-mid 20th century Russian painter Wassily Kandinsky’s work charming and alluring.

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James Rosenquist at the MoMA: James Rosenquist is an American pop artist who is known for his enormously beautiful and collage-like paintings, which indirectly reflect on consumerism and the American dream. They are eye-catching, colourful and brilliantly executed. yet full of mystery and meaning. I’ve seen solo exhibitions of his in the past and it was amazing to experience his large scale work again.

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Monet’s lilies at the MoMA: Firstly, I am obsessed with Impressionism, the late 19th century art movement. Secondly, there was no way I was not going to have a cheesy tourist picture moment with Claude Monet (one of the founders of the movement)’s water lilies series of paintings, which took up a whole room and are so much more incredible than what this picture shows.

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‘Christina’s World’ by Andrew Wyeth at the MoMA: I could have cried when I laid eyes on this painting. This is essentially a picture that I grew up with – I have memories of my mum showing me a picture of it as a child and instantly loving it. Painted in 1948, it’s got such a strong narrative that is both sad yet hopeful and full of dreams.

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Giorgio de Chico’s ‘The Song Of Love’ at the MoMA: de Chirico was an Italian painter who started his career in the early 20th century (he died in 1978 at the age of 90) – as you can probably tell by this painting, his art work was somewhat humorous yet strange and mysterious. I absolutely love his work, which I feel is a little underrated and was inevitably overshadowed by the Surrealist movement (which he partly inspired).

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Salvador Dalí’s ‘The Persistence of Memory’ (1931) at the MoMA: Those beautiful melting watches! It’s pretty bad that considering the fact that I’m Spanish, I don’t think I’ve ever seen any works by one of Spain’s most famous painters in the flesh before this! Despite being a ridiculously small piece, it was still amazing to see it – Dalí is not one of my favourite artists but who can resist those melting watches?

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Frida Kahlo’s ‘My Grandparents, My Parents and I (Family Tree)’ at the MoMA:  So guess what, I’m obsessed with Mexican painter Frida Kahlo too. So anything that involves Kahlo excites me, even if it’s not one of her more known self-portraits.

New York’s street art: No guys, of course it’s not all about museums with me. Like I mentioned in my summary post of New York, the street art we got to see in Brooklyn was mind-blowing. I was thinking about doing a separate post on it but I realised how ignorant I am about American street art, it’s a whole different ball game to London and not necessarily better, but pretty impressive.

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Edgar Degas’ ballerinas at the MoMA: The MoMA had an amazing exhibition on while we were there – the romantically called “A Strange New Beauty”, which was a solo exhibition on French Impressionist painter Edgar Degas. I’ve always had a soft spot for his mysterious portraits of ballerinas (although he as done so much more), and this exhibition was a highly detailed retrospective of his career.

Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s ‘Girls At The Piano’ (1892!) at the Met: I know I have pretty much said that I am obsessed with every painter I’ve mentioned in this post, but French Impressionist painter Renoir is my number 1. Why does he get to have such a coveted spot? Well, I loved his paintings from the moment my mum showed them to me as a child. I loved them so much that I copied many of them while I was learning art – yes, there are a bunch of tributes fake Renoirs in my family home, and I’m pretty sure I copied this painting too! I hadn’t thought about Renoir’s art in a long time and seeing this beauty at the Met was touching.

‘Transitional Object (PsychoBarn)’ by Cornelia Parker on the Met terrace: As you can tell by this post, I’m not really a fan of contemporary art – but seeing this installation – created by British artist Cornelia Parker and inspired by the house in ‘Pshycho’ – on the Met’s terrace was pretty thrilling.

Robert Indiana’s LOVE installation in Manhattan: What’s not to love about Robert Indiana’s LOVE sculpture? The thing is that I’ve had my picture taken with different versions of this sculpture before – once in London and the other time, rather unexpectedly, being in Bilbao, my hometown. So yes, I felt pretty chuffed having my picture taken with in New York too.

Van Gogh’s ‘The Starry Night’ (1889!) at the MoMA: If Renoir is my number one, Dutch painter Vincent Van Gogh is definitely in the top 5. There is something mesmerising about his work, which I don’t think I’d seen much of before – so seeing the beautiful and iconic Starry Night was a dream come true. There seems to be a fair amount of Van Gogh’s work in New York, so if you’re a lover of Van Gogh like me, you’ll be in for a treat.

Actually, if you’re simply an art lover, New York City is your place. As well as these three museums, there are so many other places worth seeing. I cannot wait to go back and savour even more art – both old and new, off and on the streets.

Pictures taken in May 2016.

xxx

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