Thursday, March 18, 2010

At The Museum

The big ticket draw at the Museum of Modern Art is the Tim Burton exhibit but I found myself breezing past the exhibition as I expected to see a lot more than sketches, movie posters and animated features. I expected to see costumes from the movies, life-size tableaus of scenes from Sleepy Hollow or Alice In Wonderland. There were a few displays of this sort like a model of Johnny Depp as Edward Scissorhands, but I found this lacking.

So I rushed through the exhibit to move to other galleries and found two walls of black and white Richard Avedon portraits in a room dedicated to photography. I love Avedon's work especially his fashion photographs and portraits of society women like this one of Marella Agnelli, wife of Gianni Agnelli, owner of Ferrari. Despite her already swan-like neck, Avedon was said to have manipulated the picture to lengthen her neck a little more. I love the elegance of this photograph.

On the bottom left corner is a portrait of two of my favorite style icons: the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. I love their style and sense of fashion, especially the Duke's dandy look which remains relevant to this day.

Coco Chanel and Marilyn Monroe (bottom right) continue to be referenced and serve as inspirations for many people, especially those in the creative field. I love the photograph of Coco Chanel because it's sort of candid, as if she were mid-sentence, perhaps in the midst of uttering one of her fashion bon mots such as "Elegance is refusal."

The pictures of Twiggy, Veruschka and Brigitte Bardot (bottom) were also part of the exhibit entitled Avedon Fashion 1944-2000 at the International Center of Photography last year.

Also worth seeing is the retrospective on the work of performance artist Marina Abramovic but be warned though that there is a lot of nudity; not only in photographs and videos but in person as well. I found the exhibit very thought-provoking as it explored so much more than sexuality. It questioned couplehood, loneliness, sacrifice, deliverance and many other existential themes. Abramovic's performace was featured in a Sex and the City episode as the setting for Carrie's and Alexander Petrovsky's first meeting and first date.

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