Koons Roof People Pictures

Today, a holiday, was a beautiful day. Or at least, I think so. A friend of mine demurs – too much sun! Courtesy of Mayor-Midas Bloomberg, the Metropolitan Museum of Art was open, while it is usually closed on Monday. So I took myself in to see the Comics and Fashion exhibit (dumb) and the Jeff Koons sculptures on the roof garden.

One of the things I like about going to a museum often is that I can take the time to observe the other people, instead of devoting all my attention the art that I may not have the chance to see again in a long time. I love to look at people looking at art. What are they thinking? Do they like it? Does it move them, impress them, bore them? Are they just enjoying the thrill of being here?

Lately, I’ve become more and more aware of people and their phones and their cameras – who hasn’t? Since they are so cheap and easy to use now, people use them everywhere, and often. I particularly like to watch people taking pictures of “attractions” and events. Here are a few from my rooftop visit to the Met. Voyeurism? Voyez vous!


Dog and Pony Show —- ——– Reflections in a Candy Apple Heart

Which Way is It? ————– Why I Prefer a Viewfinder

Paying Homage ————- Creative

The Classic Group Shot ————— Art, Monument, Idol?

Looking at..?

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2 Responses to Koons Roof People Pictures

  1. suburbanlife says:

    Lichanos – I abhor Jeff Koons’ work as the most puerile and over-inflated in critical and monetary value. What does the celebration of his ‘sculptures’ say of Western society – that we are people caught in a snare of pre-adolescent and adolescent valuings.
    Interesting, your photos of the people massed on the roof-top of the Met. They are busy taking visual souvenirs of the New york sky-line. Snap, snap, snap – looking, acquiring images – but is there any contemplation? Nah. Photos as trophies of bounding over the surface of the earth, tabulating things seen, checking off on the list of personal experience.
    Empire State Bulding (tick) Central Park (tick) sliver of Park Avenue (tick)
    Reminds me of when i travelled through Europe on a shoe-string back in the mid-60s. American tourists viewing the world there mainly through a lens, chomping through images like so many hunted trophies. G

  2. lichanos says:

    Suburbo –

    Thank you for your tirade. At least I know someone is thinking about what I write.

    …Jeff Koons’ work as the most puerile and over-inflated in critical and monetary value.

    I know little about him, but browsing through the web, I am inclined to agree with you. Much of his stuff seems fun – that’s about it. Some I saw in my brief tour seemed stupid. Of course, is it his fault if people are willing to pay megabucks for it? He entertains and delights in a simple way. Nothing wrong with that. It’s just that ‘entertainment values’ seem to trump any and all others in our society. That’s what his popularity tells us. Same goes for Warhol.

    … They are busy taking visual souvenirs of the New york sky-line

    Yes, touristical behavior fascinates me. I guess it makes me feel superior. When I was traveling through Europe on a shoestring, it was the Japanese experiencing it through a videocamera viewfinder that struck me. Even in the Vatican! That was the 70’s, when the Japanese economy was supposedly going to bury everyone else.

    …Photos as trophies of bounding over the surface of the earth, tabulating things seen, checking off on the list of personal experience

    Yes, why not just buy a postcard taken by a professional? Still, I find something mysterious and touching about this behavior. It seems ritualistic, magical. By taking the photo oneself, one preserves and creates something. This is the essence of the souvenir. The intersection of profundity and kitsch.

    I used to be contemptuous, but then I traveled to India for six months and didn’t bring a camera. Boy, do I regret that!

    I could go on about this forever – I almost wrote my college senior thesis on those little snow-globe trinkets.

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