Tag Archive | Museum

Upside Down Trees at Mass MoCA

Upside Down Trees
All Photos By Gail

“Hey, look at those upside down trees!” I shouted to my friends as we approached the entrance to Mass MoCA, the coolest contemporary art museum in the Universe. The trees turned out to be a work of art by Natalie Jeremijenko called Tree Logic (1999) in which six live trees are inverted and suspended from a truss made up of a metal armature, stainless steel planters, and telephone poles. In Tree Logic, the art of the piece is not found in its condition at any single point, but in the change of the trees over time.

Upside Down Trees

Trees are dynamic natural systems, and Tree Logic reveals this dynamism. The familiar, almost iconic shape of the tree in nature is the result of the interplay between gravitropic and phototropic forces: the tree grows away from the earth and towards the sun. When inverted, the six trees in this experiment still grow away from the earth and towards the sun — so the natural predisposition of trees might well produce the most unnatural shapes over time, raising questions about what the nature of the natural is. I would love to be able to observe the trees as their foliage changes with seasons.

Upside Down Trees
Mass MoCa is Locaed at 1040 MASS MoCA Way in  North Adams, MA 01247

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Pink Thing of The Day: Pink Medieval Child’s Dress

Pink Medieval Child Dress
All Photos By Gail

If you have a young daughter whose heart’s desire is to be a medieval fairy princess for Halloween, you can pick up this very lovely period costume in the gift shop at the Cloisters Museum in Upper Manhattan! Floral Headwreaths are sold separately!

Pink Medieval Child Dress

Bruce Nauman, Neon Hangman Game

Hangman 1
All Photos By Gail

On a recent, beautiful sunny Sunday, Geoffrey and I took a day trip on the Hudson River line via Metro North to Beacon, New York — about 90 minutes outside the city — to visit the Dia: Beacon Art Museum. This is one of the most fun things you can do to escape from Manhattan on a weekend day and you don’t even need a car! The Beacon train station is a 10 minute walk to the museum and they have signs pointing the way, so it is completely idiot proof. You can even buy your museum admission at Grand Central Station in what they call the Dia: Beacon Package, which includes round trip train fare and museum entry for $36.50 — what a bargain! I will be featuring more photos from our trip to the Dia: Beacon in future posts, but today I want to show you this crazy kinetic neon sculpture by Bruce Nauman called Hanged Man.

Hangman 2

Located in a lower level gallery dedicated exclusively the works by Bruce Nauman, Hanged Man (1985) is made up of a series of layered, multi-colored neon tubes that light up at sequenced intervals to simulate a game of Hang Man.

Hangman 3

As the game nears completion, a second figure appears. You can see why this piece may be a bit controversial, or not safe for small kids who might has a lot of questions.

Hangman 5

Hangman 6

Because that’s a big pink boner, right there.

Moss Lamp

Moss Lamp
All Photos By Gail

This Moss Lamp (1999) exemplifies designer Gaetano Pesce’s use of industrial production techniques and materials to produce unique objects. Here, he pours silicone in thread-like trails to achieve a textured and translucent sphere that casts a soft glow through irregular gaps and varied thicknesses. The end result is dictated by the behavior of the material.

Moss Lamp Display

Vermelha Chair

Vermelha Chair
All Photos By Gail

For the brothers Fernando and Humberto Campana, startling materials are a hallmark of their design practice. Often evoking the rich street-market culture of their native Brazil, the utilize everyday elements in unexpected ways, such as this looped red cord for the opulent pile upholstery of this Vermelha (Red) chair (2007).

Photographed in the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum in NYC.

Vermelha Chair

Cool Video: KAWS Shows Off Newest Installation at Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts



Street Artist turned fine artist and designer KAWS (Brian Donnelly) is the subject of the above video feature created by Mass Appeal (a digital content channel platform). Kaws is ‘caus-ing” a bit of a commotion just recently with his design for the MTV Awards stage and a concurrent exhibit at Mary Boone Gallery in Manhattan, but this video focuses on what is his largest installation to date, now on exhibit at the historic Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.

This exhibit at PAFA says so much about the evolution of street art to fine art, as KAWS, speaks about hosting the biggest exhibit of his career in one of the oldest museums in the US. At PAFA, his modern sculptures, paintings, and designs are displayed in installations around other famous artworks from the 18th and 19th centuries – creating a distinct view of how far art culture has come. In this fun video, KAWS discusses his approach to the installation, how the project came to be, how he worked with the space and the materials he used.

KAWS-@-PAFA-Pennsylvania-Academy-of-Fine-Arts
KAWS Installation View at PAFA (Image Source)

KAWS at PAFA will be on Exhibit Through January 5th, 2014, while his Sculpture at the Building’s Facade will be on Display Into August of 2014. Find Out More About the Exhibit, and Get Museum Hours and Information, at This Link.

Must See Attraction: Seattle’s Experience Music Project

EMP Building Exterior
All Photos By Gail

When I was planning my recent four-day stay in Seattle, one of the attractions I knew I couldn’t miss was the Experience Music Project pop culture Museum. I’ve been curious about visiting the EMP. since it was first in construction, which was about 15 years ago. Originally, it’s my understanding that the museum was being built and funded by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen to house his extensive Jimi Hendrix memorabilia collection. But obviously, it’s expanded quite a bit since that original, rather narrow concept.

Space Needle Reflected in EMP Building Exterior
Space Needle Reflected in the Exterior of the EMP

Conveniently located in the Seattle Center, literally in the shadow of the Space Needle, and adjacent to several other top tourist attractions, the EMP is certainly one of the most unusual examples of modern architecture I’ve ever seen. When viewed from the top of the Space Needle, this Frank Gehry-designed structure looks like a Giant took a handful of various boxes of different shapes and colors, and stuck them all together. But this unique approach to modern design has created a fantastic space that provides exhibit halls for not only local music history and an extensive trip down memory lane with the Jimi Hendrix Experience in London, but separate wings for science fiction, fantasy film and literature, horror movies, and the current temporary exhibit highlighting Women Who Rock. Here are a few photos I took during my visit this past July.

Hendrix Experience in London

Any Jimi Hendrix fan is going to be blown away by the Hendrix Experience Hits London section, which fills several ground floor galleries.

Hendrix Experience Costumes

Not only will you see vintage, authentic stage costumes worn by Jimi, Noel Redding and Mitch Mitchell, but the walls of the galleries are plastered with photographs, news clippings, magazine articles, vinyl albums and posters that telegraph the band’s rise to stardom after their initial visit to the UK. All I can say is, it must be nice to be Paul Allen.

Nirvana In Utero Prop

Around the corner from the Hendrix exhibit is an exhaustive documentation of the Nirvana’s impact on the Seattle grunge punk music scene during the 90s. You could easily spend a couple of hours in this section, just reading all about some of the best bands that came from this genre-defining region of the country such as Mudhoney, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam and many other Sub Pop signings as well as projects from legendary genre producers such as Jack Endino.

Kurt Cobain Green Sweater

In addition to extensive documentation, Photos, Personal Letters, CD covers, magazine articles, costumes and props, there’s also one of Dave Grohl’s drum kits and other one-of-a-kind memorabilia. Whoever created this part of the museum did so with a good deal of love.

David Bowie Costume from Labyrinth

Fantasy film enthusiasts will not want to miss the Fantasy: Worlds of Myth and Magic exhibit where I enjoyed seeing costumes such as those worn by David Bowie in the film Labyrinth as well as many other props and costumes from classic films such as The Hobbit, the Wizard of Oz and Clash of the Titans, to name but a few.

Wizard of Oz Guard Uniform

Captain Kirk Chair and Tribbles
Captain Kirk’s Enterprise Command Chair and Tribbles

On another floor there’s an exhibit dedicated to Icons of Science Fiction. Not only are there props and costumes from science-fiction films, but also there are small exhibits on popular books of the genre that laid the foundation for much of the visual media that came in their wake.

Dalek from Dr. Who
Dalek from Dr. Who

Lure of Horror Films Signage

Can’t Look Away: The Lure of Horror Film is also a very fun exhibit. Aside from the expected props and costumes, you can personalize your experience by participating in interactive exhibits including the Scream Booth and Philip Worthington’s interactive shadow monster installation – which is just insane.

Creature from Black Lagoon Mask

Rest your weary feet with time spent in a dozen video kiosks where you can sit in near darkness and watch horror film clips (commentary included) curated by directors Roger Corman, John Landis and Eli Roth. Super fun and also very educational!

Pretenders Kim Gordon EMP
Outfits Worn by Chrissie Hynde and Kim Gordon (Image Courtesy of the EMP)

The museum’s top floor is home to a large interactive studio recording exhibit, where you can actually play instruments and record your own music. It’s also where you’ll find the museums latest exhibit, Women Who Rock, which just opened in June. Women Who Rock does an ambitious job of documenting female artists from the 50s through to present including pioneers such as Brenda Lee, Leslie Gore, Loretta Lynn, Ronnie Specter and many of the girl groups through to the punk rock movement, groundbreaking all-female rock groups such as The Runaways and The GoGos and on to superstar solo artists from Madonna to Shakira and, of course Lady Gaga. Unfortunately, my camera battery ran out just as we were entering this particular exhibit, so the only photos I have are ones I pulled from EMP’s website.

Rihanna Awards Outfit EMP
Rihanna Music Awards Outfit (Image Courtesy of the EMP)

The Experience Music Project is a must-see destination for any music and film fan’s trip to the beautiful and vibrant city of Seattle. Exhibits change from time to time so make sure you consult the museum’s website to find out what they have in house during your planned visit.

If Six Was Nine Guitar Sculpture
If Six Was Nine Kinetic Guitar Sculpture

The EMP Museum is located at 325 5th Avenue N, Seattle Center, WA, convenient to the Seattle Center Monorail. Hours are 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM Daily. Visit This Link for additional exhibit schedule and admission information.