Monday, June 25, 2012

Michael5000 discovers that membership really does have its privileges

Last month, I mentioned that Mrs.5000 and I had become members of the Portland Art Museum. I confess that I didn't really realize how cool that would turn out to be until this weekend. Struggling to fill the lonely hours with Mrs.5000 out of town, and happening to be in downtown, I just marched right into the museum as easy as kiss-my-hand, like I owned the place.

It was awesome. Since I didn't have to pay a cover, there was none of the pressure to admire art to the point of exhaustion that I've always felt, to a greater or lesser extent, at museums. I just browsed for a while, then skedaddled. Because, I can come back any time I want. And when I bought some postcards? Discount. BECAUSE I'M A FREAKIN' MEMBER, BABY!!!

Based on this experience, I'd have to recommend that you become a member too, if financial considerations allow. Or, I suppose you could set something up with the museum in the city where you actually live. It doesn't have to be the Portland Museum.

Highlights

Naturally, one begins with Lord Ganesh.


As I browsed the halls, I was again amused to notice how much my attention was drawn to artists whose last names begin with "A" or "B" or "C."  I know so much more about them!  And while this certainly has a goofy aspect to it, which I will begin indulging in shortly, it also seems to me to be proof positive that the Infinite Art Tournament is working.  In addition to being a giddy good time (for me), it's also a helluva arts education.

My opinion of the Beaver State's leading art trove continues to grow.  Obviously it's not exactly the Louvre, but it seems to have representative work from a surprising number of the Heavy Hitters.  For example, I looked up at one point, and noticed that I was standing underneath a mobile by Alexander Calder!


Turns out that mobiles are really hard to photograph, so I don't know if my effort here will help Calder out any in his current first-round bout against Gustave Caillebotte.

I learned that Sir Anthony Caro, who is currently in first-round action against Vittore Carpaccio, does not work exclusively in big rusty found objects.  It seems he also does small, graceful, smooth, designed objects.



I bumped into representatives of both sides of the Boucher/Boudin smackdown.  They are hung in different areas, probably to let things cool off after Boucher's narrow first-round victory.



Does this frame make our Boudin look small?

I have to say that Karel Appel, currently held up in a highly suspenseful left-bracket limbo by a tie elsewhere in the tournament, looks pretty compelling in life.  (Boucher was unexpectedly impressive, too.)


I even got a chance to grapple with some Basquiat, who has of course already made it to the third round, where he's duking it out with Max Beckmann.



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Having been exposed to all this fine artwork, I found myself moved to recover the long-neglected painting that was included in the sale of our home.  This meant digging it out from where Mrs.5000 has banished it for the last nine years, hung actually behind the basement shelving.  I guess she just doesn't respect original artwork.  Anyway, I put it up in my personal growlery, to maximize its chances of survival.  By the time you are reading this, the resulting marital power struggle may well have already run its course.  Wish me luck.

Before



After


Awesome, am I right?

8 comments:

Rose City Reader said...

Wow! That painting would make me growl. Yikes!

I used to be a PAM member, but let it lapse when we moved. But I've been back for 5 years -- time to re-up!

Christine M. said...

Hey! Here's my postcard?!

mrs.5000 said...

Are you going to nominate Van Gaard the gloppy art factory as a play-in artist?

Jenners said...

I'm almost inspired to join the Philly Museum of Art … of course, I would have to drag my other family members kicking and screaming. And that is … uh … some really fine original art you got there. Yup … sure is.

Mm Mud said...

Galleons in an orange background is sure interesting...brings a lot of focus to that wall. A flash bounced offf the ceiling might have cut-off some glare...lighting+photography is what i'm aiming to get right these days. I also here of a certain King Tut exhibit at the Pacific Science Center which is attracting Portlandists by the droves.

Dug said...

We joined our local art museum. They have this really nice member's lounge and I thought "Wow! I'm going to be hanging out there," but I never did. After the museum director had too many exhibits of his rich friends toys (yachts, cars, etc.) posing as art, I decided I didn't really want to be a member anymore.

margaret said...

I'm amazed a painting that big fails to hide even one of those paint splatters (or whatever they are) on the wall. It's like they frame it, and you, like, totally meant to do that, right?

Michael5000 said...

Well, see, the deal there is that this room used to be the kitchen for the upstairs apartment. When the cupboards were taken off the walls (except for the corner cupboard at left, which I reinstalled for the quirk factor) they left a hell of a mess behind them. There is, in fact, a zone of Castle5000 extending from this room, through the upstairs hallway, down the stairwell, and down the hallway to the front door, all of which is the very definition of "shabby."