If you’re in New York City and enjoy art and museums and are looking for something to do tonight, check out the Museum Mile Fest. Fifth Avenue is closed to traffic between the Met and the Museo del Barrio, and nine museums are free between 6:00-9:00. The event kicks off at 5:45 at the Guggenheim. It looks as though there will be tons of street art, music, and great people watching.
Since I museumed yesterday (and since my Whitney badge gets me into museums for free all summer) I will be heading to Phil’s BMI Lehman showcase to observe presentations from the future of musical theatre. How often can you say that? (Yes, the music and lyrics winners from Next to Normal went to BMI, and yes they gave the workshop a shout out during their Tony acceptance speech).
Tonight, after work–and after finishing all forty files pertaining to the e.e. cummings drawings–I headed down to MoMA for this month’s PopRally (And yes, I am absolutely going to try to go to the one on the 20th at P.S. 1). The galleries stayed open until 8:45, booze and hor’d’ouerves were served, and the Brooklyn-based band/performance group Stars Like Fleas played a set. I knew nothing about Stars Like Fleas, I just wanted to see some art and maybe some people in unusual outfits and possibly a performance piece.
I arrived at MoMA a little before Stars Like Fleas started their set. My nifty Whitney badge got me in for free, and I joined a cluster of mostly young hipster art folk (though there were a few random older people, and some parents with kids–start them early!) in the area in front of the garden facing the statue of Rodin’s Balzac. The band had set themselves up around the statue.
So I’m milling through the crowd and I see more than a few people dressed like, well, dressed like people on this website. I wasn’t sure if they were with the band or if they just were. However, they all had feathers–and so did some members of the band, so perhaps they were fans of the band?
Stars like Fleas started playing and their music was fairly ambient, so I decided to go look at some art. You could hear the band from pretty much anywhere in the museum, so anytime the music started sounding intriguing I would pop out into the atrium and watch the band for a few minutes. I visited the contemporary gallery, which had a giant drawing show:Compass in Hand: Selections from the Judith Rothschild Foundation Contemporary Drawings Collection. Some fantastic works by Cosima von Bonin, Eva Rothschild, Shahzia Sikander, Arturo Herrera, Wilhelm Sasmal, Kara Walker, and everyone’s favorite, Paul McCarthy:
I also saw Stage Pictures show, featuring works by artists who had designed for theatre, opera, and ballet. I love seeing collaborative arts. Naturally, there were a lot of works by Russian artists of the early twentieth century, a huge wall of Chagalls, and a room with a few of the Picasso’s puppet-costumes from Parade.
I then headed upstairs to see Tangled Alphabets, the show featuring the art of Leon Ferrari and Mira Schendel, which closes this week. I’m glad I was able to see it before it closed–some of the work, especially the Japanese paper sculptures by Schendel, Ferrari’s three-dimensional works, and Ferrari’s Rereading the Bible series were fantastic.
I planned on leaving the museum after seeing this show, as it was getting late, and I was hungry and wanted to go to the gym. As I headed to the museum exit, however, I was greeted by a wall of sound. I assumed it was the band, gettin’ noisy. However, as I stepped off the escalator on the 4th floor, I was met by a procession of hipsters!
The crowd of people droned one note continuously: the band on their instruments, the people via their mouths or, like this woman below, a harmonica.
The band led the group (and I, of course, followed, because this was AMAZING, like my dreams come true but WAY BETTER) to the entrance to the 4th floor permanent galleries. One of the members of the band, who had a very long beard, started passing out pens.
Then, the music stopped. And everyone who had a pen (I did not, very sad), started CLICKING THEIR PENS.
And then, just as suddenly, the clicking ended, people applauded, and the performance was OVER. Until 7:50 when Stars like Fleas started their second set. Anyhow, it was kind of amazing. And the people. MoMA Poprally = SUCCESS.
So after witnessing this performance I left MoMA, and walked back to the subway. I was on the phone with my friend Tammi when I passed the Lever Building, where this awaited me:
After gasping: “GIANT HELLO KITTIES OHMYGOD SO CUTE” I hung up on Tammi and snapped pictures of this sculpture and several other Hello Kitty sculptures in the surrounding courtyard, including two Hello Kitty fountains that spouted water from their eyes. SO CUTE.
The rest of the evening was spent having dinner, going to the gym, tidying up the apartment a bit, and making this for my lunch tomorrow. And on that note, bed–my MoMA adventure has left me exhausted.