My original intent for this blog was to visit the Met every single day, without fail, and somehow live my life, and enjoy other art venues of New York City, aside from that massive undertaking. But I have decided to allow myself to visit other valuable cultural institutions and share my experiences with you on this page (as I have done once before in my post on MoMA), while still maintaining the goal of visiting the Met everyday I possibly can.
That said, tonight I was given a free ticket by AIGA (American Institute of Graphic Arts) for the Museum of Art and Design at Columbus Circle. The relatively modest nine-story building that stands opposite Trump International Hotel & Tower and adjacent to the monstrosity that is the Time Warner Center, just oozes modernity from its own little island on the south end of the circle. Indeed, that was both the original intent of the building at 2 Columbus Circle when it was built as the Gallery of Modern Art in 1964 and of its recent makeover before its reopening in September 2008 as the Museum of Art and Design.
Inside, hundreds of interesting pieces fill the second through sixth floor galleries (unfortunately, no photography is allowed, so you'll have to imagine or see for yourself). After ascending the stairs to the second floor, I came upon the exhibition entitled Elegant Armor: The Art of Jewelry. The variety of form, color and material is far to great to discuss here, given the fact that in addition to the glass display cases at eye level, the back wall was also equipped with three rows of at least twelve drawers, which allow visitors to view even more pieces.
Next was an exhibition called Second Lives: Remixing the Ordinary — a fantastic display of ordinary objects transformed into amazing pieces of art. In describing these to my roommate last night, I got a "had to be there" feeling from him, but I'll try nonetheless. There was a piece done with spools of different colored thread, which formed an upside-down mosaic of the Mona Lisa with a digital camera covering her face; and a few feet in front of it was a glass ball on a stand, so when you look through the glass ball, the mosaic appears clearer and upright! (I know, not the easiest thing to picture.)
Another piece, coincidentally also a mosaic, can be seen here: Portrait of a Textile Worker by Terese Agnew. The artist actually sewed over 30,000 clothing labels to create the image.
Then there were a bunch of butterflies and a giant wave made out of records, a fleet of gilded militaristic ships made of children's toys, a daffodil flower made of plastic forks and q-tips, faces carved out of phone books and much more... I guess you had to be there.