Saturday, September 15, 2012

Revisiting: Art Institute of Chicago

This is a 2-year backdated post about my visit to the amazing Art Institute of Chicago (AIC) where I got my first glimpse of Van Gogh and Monet masterpieces. My drawings are pretty limited to stickmen types, so it was mind blowing to be looking at the paintings with my own eyes. However my favourite wasn't by either artists, I forgot whatshisname by the time we left the museum. Heh.

*Random. Talking about masterpieces reminds me of the conversation between Will Smith and the Robot in the movie 'I, Robot': 

Detective Del Spooner: You are a clever imitation of life... Can a robot write a symphony? Can a robot take a blank canvas and turn it into a masterpiece? 
Sonny: Can you? 

My friends and I took the train from Elburn to Chicago Union Station and walked 10 blocks from Union Station to the museum in winter! Ok it wasn't really as bad as it sounds as it was a sunny day. It was a straight walk, made very enjoyable as we walked as a group. Map below:

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We all got in for free as the museum's entry fee was free for the whole month of February. It still makes me happy thinking about it. The free part. Must be an Asian thing, no? Regular price for tickets should be USD20 (approx. RM65) per adult but there are also free days weekly thus it's advisable for you to check their website regularly prior to your visit. Anyway I remembered that I really wanted to go again the same month before coming back to Malaysia in May that year but sadly never got the chance to. I went round Chi-town for the last time in March with my sister who came down from Minnesota but she wasn't keen on looking at dead men's paintings.Well, she didn't exactly say that but we had a great time at The Field Museum in March. Ah, a story for another day.

Willis shrouded in clouds.
This ceramic figure was actually really small. Around 15 cm in height.

A gay dance! As in joyous!
Self-potrait of Vincent Van Gogh, 1887. Left ear intact.
Bedroom in Arles by Van Gogh. According to Wiki (yah, I've been to the museum and I still had to wiki this information) this is the second version of this painting. The first and third version are in Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam and Musee d'Orsay, Paris respectively.
Oooh luckily I snapped a photo of the name of the artist and it's in the caption of this painting below. This photo doesn't do it justice. You just have got to see it in person. The painting seemed to come alive the longer I looked at it. I must have stood there for a good 15 minutes, just looking at it. I was certainly wasn't the only one because as soon as I snapped out of the awed-zone, I realised that there were also at least a couple of visitors also enthralled by the painting and stood looking at it behind me.
Fisherman's Cottage by Harald Sohlberg, 1906. Oil on canvas.

While there are many sculptures/paintings/installations that made me go "WAHHHH", there are also equally as many that just didn't make sense, especially in the Modern Art wing. Maybe because I'm just not artsy-fartsy enough (even though I dressed the part that day: beret, check. sling slouchy bag, check. graphic tee, check. scarf slung carelessly, check). Like these:

Looks like telur ulat.

This is a tissue paper box with a... vent? :-/

I dragged my two Indonesian friends across 2 different wings just to find the American Gothic. I mean, how could you miss this iconic image when you're already here? Ok, now you guys can go home.
American Gothic by Grant Wood, 1930.

I didn't take many photos as I've always felt that, sure photos are great for us to reminisce about the trip in the future, but most times I rather not experience my trip just through my lenses but rather remember the feeling, the sights with my own eyes, the sounds or even the smell of the place. Or I'm just too lazy at times.

More revisiting posts coming up!

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