After getting back from my crazy, fun, breathtaking, unimaginable, spiritual trip to Israel, you wouldn’t think I’d need to soak in any new culture for a while. But, I’ve recently made it my mission to explore at least one new part of NYC every week while I’m home. On a whim, I decided to visit the MoMA and find out what all the fuss was about.

moma fall

This museum houses all the greats; Chagall, Cézanne, Rousseau, and of course, Van Gogh. I’m a huge fan of his work, and truth be told, this mini obsession might’ve started with societal hype, but after seeing his pieces for myself, (his other work is featured in my Israel Museum post), I feel the hype is rightly justified. Not only is his art rooted in post-impressionism, (out with the old, in with the new, as it were), Vincent Van Gogh familiarized himself with mundane landscapes and recreated them with dramatic face. So this is why I see him as an educator in addition to an artist. His images draw me nearer with every (not-so-subtle) paint stroke I study.

moma chagall
I and the Village by Marc Chagall, 1911



moma james ensor
Masks Confronting Death by James Ensor, 1888
moma henri rousseau
The Sleeping Gypsy by Henri Rousseau, 1897
moma georges-pierre seurat
The Channel at Gravelines by Georges-Pierre Seurat, 1890

Painted in various shades of indigo and sapphire lies a masterpiece, one which tourists from all over the globe come to examine. When I saw The Starry Night for the very first time, it was so surreal. The cheap print I have plastered above my bed at home couldn’t even begin to resemble something so grand and inimitable.

moma vincent
The Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh, 1889
moma van gogh the olive trees
The Olive Trees by Vincent Van Gogh, 1889

I will say this: I really don’t follow modern art for the sheer excuse I have for not liking its sub-genre; contemporary. Even Warhol, known as one of the greatest fathers of contemporary art, seems overrated to me. Understandably, ‘modern’ is a term that shifts gears so often over time, it’s hard to pin the exactness of it all. While I treasure artwork that tests my gaze, waiting for me to figure out the message its maker tried hard to conceal; there’s only so much modernism I can handle before scoffing. This either makes me an art snob or a very uncultured individual, and I suppose I’m fine with that. I don’t believe multi-inked stencils and a few lines painted over a white background expends any talent nor does it translate into fine art.

What I did enjoy was the Adrian Piper exhibit. This super intelligent, very well-spoken performance artist experimented with so many forms of ingenuity, I observed everything she created with great admiration.

moma adrianmoma adrian p

I was also quite surprised to see chromogenic prints of Israel as one of the first exhibits in the museum. There weren’t too many on display, but I’m happy such a collection was included.

The MoMA is phenomenal, (if you don’t mind splurging a bit on the entrance fee which is $25). And if your taste in art aligns with mine, start from the very top floor and make your way down. This way, by the time museum fatigue kicks in, you’ll see all the artwork that, in my boorish opinion, takes precedence over the others.


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