8/26/11 Wonderful day! Once you've been in the Program for 60 days, you can have a pass, so I decided to grab a Gyro and go to the Chicago art institute. I had just $20 and headed first to a small restaurant on Jefferson I heard had good prices. They didn't have a Gyro, dang it, so I got an Italian beef sandwich, drowned in Au Jus, fries and a Mountain Dew for $7.93. It had been a long time since I had a real beef, so good! I was worried I wouldn't have enough for the Institute, but I put it out of my mind, God will provide. I get there and find that the price of admission is $17! My heart drops, but I try anyways. I find a pretty girl at the info counter and tell her I am in the Bible program at the mission and am short on money for admission, all I have is about $12. She looks at me for a few seconds and says, "I can sell you a student ticket for $12." Being that I am in classes and plan on graduating, I am a student, so that is fine.
So, I could have worked my way up to it, taken my time, but nope, I went right upstairs to the Impressionists. Pierre-Augste Renoir is really good with hair and in "The two sisters" did some neat stuff with the colors of their hats. All these years of seeing small prints in art books gave me a false impression of soft outlines, so the sharp edges of the pint daubs was a surprise. Monet seems to be able to diffuse them the best. While I liked his works and Renior's, Van Gogh was definitely my favorite! He made the most intriguing colors, shades and hues not upsetting, yet unusual and wonderful. 'The poets garden' was my favorite, the greens are thick and interesting, slabbed on in large strokes, giving it such depth. I could breathe that one painting in for hours.
'The drinkers' was a really fun painting, look for the short drunk of the left, almost under the table already. 'The bedroom' looks like something you'd find in a modern magazine, his style used in it has been copied so much over the years. When you consider it's contemporaries, it is really well ahead of it's time. Oh, the self portrait they have of him there... I will remember those flecks of blue in his irises till the day that I die! That painting has so many vivid colors, even in his beard.
Vincent's 'Grapes, lemons and some other fruits' had some absolutely amazing transparency of light to the grapes, all done with very odd brush strokes, surrounded by ripples on a pond effect that was told to me by another visitor as one of his violent still life's. Genius!
They have a bunch of Monet's there that are titled sunsets, definitely felt like sunrises. Most likely it would have been noticed by now to have been the other, but... hmmmm, lol. He used a lot of pastels all through a hazy feeling. His 'Waterloo bridge sunlight effects' had me enthralled, so I got as close as I could for a bit to allow it to be my entire view. Another I dug was from his stack of wheat series, 'Sunset and snow effect', stunning blues and orange! It makes me want to paint with oils! I'm not good with human figures or faces, but with my style of abstract and the infinite shades of color that I can directly control would be so liberating. While I have an intimate knowledge of the computer program I use right now for my stuff, it still can be like trying to paint with a piano leg.
Rodin's 'Eve' is really nice. I've always admired from a mechanical view point any art chiseled from stone... it takes real skill.
Ok, I'm looking at my notes that I scribbled the day I was there and I wrote Contemporary contemptible'. I'm just not a fan of so much of what they had in the modern art wing. One such painting had just two colors, two. It's like going to see a piano solo and the dude plays two notes and expects applause. Maybe if I had gone to art school and learned to appreciate it's finer points... naw, I have a right to my opinion, lol.
More notes on the Art institute. 'Scarf dance', a series of statues of girls dancing, love it! Great feeling of flow and grace, sweeping, swirling captured. I went into the Medieval area, and while it is impressive in technique and detail, massive details, it just didn't hold me, or anyone else it seemed. The hall of armor was a disappointment. Small and dark, nothing like the set up they had years before. It's almost like someone didn't like that they where symbols of war so they want it to disappear. Now the Bamboo by Ando was really refreshing. Awesome attentions to detail and form flow within the limitations of the materials. There where other bamboo creations in the Tokonoma room, the globular flower basket was a wonderful mess and the 'knot' was an inspired design.
In the hall with the Indian sculptures I am surrounded by things made over 1,500 years ago. I know each one had to take months of dedication, if not years, and for them to survive this long is such a testament to how valued they are, yet I keep getting distracted. I sit on a bench looking at them, yet the thing that keeps grabbing my eye are some of Gods greatest works... women!
To see my artworks, this is the link---> http://zac-lowing.artistwebsites.com/