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Monday, 8 November 2010

The Mets suck, ok? You wanna see the Yankees.

No, not the Mets, the MET, singular!

Oh yes, I did walk around New York quoting Friends episodes. So we arrived at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I must admit, art museums are not usually on the top of my list but this museum has such a large and varied collection, there is something for everyone, even if you're not "into" art.

There were 2 exhibitions I had in mind that I wanted to see. The first was Big BambĂș by twin brothers Mike and Doug Starn. It is a monumental bamboo structure built on the roof of the museum. It was constructed through spring, summer and fall by artists and rock climbers. It is simply stunning with the backdrop of Central Park and the city. It is meant to depict the complexity and energy of an ever-changing living organism.

You can actually climb the strucuture but this has to be booked in advance. Definitely not for those with acrophbia. 

It was fun to see the park from a different angle. We were really amongst the tree tops. If you look over the edge, you can't see anything but greenery.

The second exhibition I wanted to see was "Hipsters, Hustlers, and Handball Players: Leon Levinstein's New York Photographs, 1950–1980." He was an unheralded master of street photography and is best known for his candid and unsentimental black-and-white figure studies made in New York City neighborhoods from Times Square and the Lower East Side to Coney Island. I didn't take any photos but here are some of my favourites from the Met website:

54th Street

 Elderly man walking with crane

 Two young men on street, one wearing stars and stripes outfit

 Couple kissing on building steps

Young woman in dress and overcoat

"Levinstein's graphic virtuosity—seen in raw, expressive gestures and seemingly monumental bodies—is balanced by his unusual compassion for his offbeat subjects from the demimonde." Levinstein was quoted in Photography Annual 1955: "In my photographs I want to look at life—at the commonplace things as if I just turned a corner and ran into them for the first time."

I think he's achieved that, don't you?


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