Tuesday, October 1, 2013


Art and Identity: The Museum of Modern Art


On September 25,2013 my class and I visited the MoMA (Museum of Modern Art). The Museum is located at 11 W 53rd St, New York, NY 10019. MoMA was established in 1929. During our visit we were asked to consider the topic of identity in art. MoMA opened my eyes to see that there is so much more of the art world. The paintings, sculptures, videos are not only there to look at but also to think what is behind it, like the meaning. My most memorable moment visiting the MoMA was when I found the Pac-Man game and found out that it was invented by Toru Iwatani (Japanese born 1955).

The Flag by Jasper Johns (1954-1955) in an encaustic, oil and collage on fabric mounted on plywood, three panels which measures 42 1/4 x 60 5/8" (107.3 x 153.8cm). Johns is mostly known for this painting of the flag, his idea came after having a dream of the American Flag. The painting is historical because it was done in 1954 around Flag Day in which Dwight D. Eisenhower was our president. On that day he signed an amendment to the pledge of allegiance to add the words "under God". 

Still Life #30 by Tom Wesselmann (American, 1931-2004) an oil, enamel and synthetic polymer paint on composition board with collage of printed advertisements, plastic flowers, refrigerator door, plastic replicas of 7- Up bottles, glazed and framed 
color reproduction, and stamped metal measures 48 1/2 x 66 x 4" (122 x 167.5 x 10cm). This art work seems cultural to me for several reasons. For one looking at the year 1963, around that year the kitchen did look like that. Meaning that pink refrigerators did really exist. As well as the sink, cabinets and kitchen stove. Secondly, the food on the table seems old fashioned to me like the way the food is packaged and how they are packaged. The walls are in bright colors, which they could still be today but in my opinion people now stick to more neutral colors.

The Basic House by Martin Ruiz de Azúa (Spanish, born 1965) is polyester. The Basic House is something personal because you can fold your house and place it into your pocket. It is meant to keep you dry from the rain, cool from the sun and warm in the winter. The house is also a personal thing because it is for one person. Yes, it probably would be possible to fit more but that would be dangerous as it already is for one person. Clearly this isn't an American Dream house but it is possibly a little shelter that could be useful at desperate times or even for a day of camping out. “Have it all (freedom) without having almost anything”.  Martín Azúa, 1999. 

Never would I imagine that MoMA or in fact any other museum contains such art work. The trip has made me realize that museums are more than just admiring or criticizing someone's painting on the wall. Viewing art work through "personal", "cultural" and "historical" lenses is actually a great mind set to have before entering a museum. "Outside museums, in noisy public squares, people look at people. Inside museums, we leave the realm and enter what might be called the group-mind, getting quiet to look at art" Jerry Saltz.