“Meet James Ensor, Belgium’s Famous Painter!”

skeletons-fighting-over-a-pickled-herring-1891
James Ensor (Belgian, 1860-1949), Skeletons Fighting Over a Pickled Herring, 1891

Fans of They Might Be Giants are likely already familiar with the name of artist James Ensor, because of the TMBG song “Meet James Ensor”, which is really quite fantastic. Geoffrey had never heard that song before, so I made sure to sing it to him a few times before we went to see the James Ensor exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) here in lovely, sweltering midtown Manhattan. I’m not going to go into a lot of background or biographical data on Ensor except to say that his paintings are really creepy and fun. This vast career retrospective, comprised of hundreds of drawings and paintings of all sizes and mediums, really shows his sense of humor, as well as his fascination with death and certain bourgeois aspects of the society he grew up in. Geoffrey and I both loved it. Make a date to “Meet James Ensor” before the exhibit closes on September 21st, 2009.

While you’re at MOMA, be sure to spend some time walking through Chinese conceptual artist Song Dong’s Waste Not installation (also through September 21st), which is mind boggling in its scope and really must be seen to be believed. You can read more about Ensor and other current MOMA exhibits at This Link.

Ensor Self Portrait
The Skeleton Painter, 1895

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