I went to NYC yesterday. I always find the experience overstimulating! There is so much to see, and that's just in the museums and galleries. I need to go for a long period of time at some point. I went with a group from the New Hampshire Institute Art and had such a great time. We visited the Aipad show, and there was so much fantastic photography. An amazing variety, really. I was excited to see some of Maggie Taylor's work. She has definitely been a huge influence on me, especially when I first started photography. That may seem weird, since I don't think she uses an actual camera all that much, but I've always found her inspiring. I instantly recognized some tree images by the Starn Twins, two brothers that I've been looking at lately. I also discovered some amazing work by Jacques Bedel, a new artist to me. The presentation was particularly interesting to me. These images were of clouds, printed on layers of plexi, and suspended off the wall so that the light projected the image on the wall behind it. The idea was very similar to some of things I've tried, since I work on glass, and other translucent materials. A huge advantage to the plexi was how light weight it was. I could see it moved slightly with the breeze from the air vents, and he had it hung with a simple eye hook. My work tends to be heavy. The glass works better than plexi with the transfer process I use--it's a little more clear--but I loved how the plexi worked for his images. There were so many other artists, this barely touches the surface. I went through several times, each time finding new images and artists. It was hard to absorb everything, but I loved it. Afterwards, I went to the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). I haven't actually been there before, so I thought it would be good. I wanted to go to the Guggenhiem, and see the Francesca Woodman exhibit, but time was against me, as it so often is. The MoMA houses so many notable pieces, such as Monet's Waterlilies, and it was almost weird to see them in real life. Van Gogh's Starry Night had a line of people waiting to take pictures with it, like it was a celebrity or something. It didn't sit well with me. That painting in particular, because I heard he painted shortly before attempting suicide. His work, to me, is filled with such turmoil, it is difficult to look at. So much of the art in the MoMA is like that. Most of the artists were considered very avant-garde during their time. The impressionists were the rebels of their day, rejected by the Salon, and now their work is printed in hotel room lobbies. Of course, at this point in the day, I was also quite overestimated, and it was hard to focus on anything more than a few moments.
I wonder about the necessity of being in a city to be an artist. Whenever I visit, I simultaneously think that I could never live there, and I could thrive there. It seems like there are too many people. I frequently found myself looking for empty spaces rather than inspiring art, but I am sure that is something I could cope with in time. On the flip side, being among so many is liberating, because you can surge with the crowd, blend into the mass. The choice to be lonely or to be noticed can be made every moment. I am not sure I am explaining myself properly, but I think my mixed feelings stem from the fact that I am fairly equally introvert and extrovert, and draw my energy from moments of solitude as well as moments of company. Ultimately, though, I would miss the land. I remember even during my brief one-month stay in Athens, I rejoiced at my visits to the mountains and country side. The city is great place to visit, but I don't want to live there. That may mean I will have to work harder and it may cost me to some extent, but I chose to be an artist because I wanted to do what I love, not because I wanted to get rich quick.