Homage to the MoMA and its windows

This post is dedicated to Lauren. Thank you for always being positive and for reconnecting me with my own Journal 8.

In honor of my new position at the MoMA, I bring you a large format photography project I created in March 2009. The MoMA has been my favorite cultural institution since the first time I visited way back in high school. I never let myself truly realize this until I found myself showing up to work there last week, but it has been a dream job for me for a long time. I always find a way to make time for the MoMA, especially if I have been away from New York for a while. It’s a space that inspires and ignites me. I remember walking around the museum for the first time, having the overwhelming sense that the contents and the architecture fused in a way I had never before encountered, or at least noticed. The cliché of artwork as window does not seem so trite in this setting: rectangles of mental space belonging to Matisse, Van Gogh, Picasso, Klimt, and so on, hover in partnership with live images of the city, shining through well-placed panes of glass. MoMA’s architecture acknowledges – no – celebrates its place, its city, New York. Inside, the museum tells you of foreign worlds and global cultures and societies through its international collection of artworks, but it constantly reminds you of where you are. I relish the escapism of going into a museum and becoming lost in its galleries and its art with all its ideas and emotions. However, I am ever in admiration of MoMA’s ability to balance the sense of diversion with a continual evocation of the present. You are here. You are living. Here and now. The method toward this dynamic experience of presence and escape is so beautifully simple: windows.

The above triptych was shot using a 4×5 Large Format camera. Unfortunately I cannot share with you the gorgeous detail of the medium through these mean electronic reproductions, but perhaps you get the idea. I reverted to childhood in my process, by creating a diorama out of an old cardboard box from B&H. I remodeled the box to resemble the Jackson Pollock gallery in the MoMA. The entryways, paintings, tags and even the bench are all in their right place. Peopling the gallery are visitors from the art world: figurative children of artists come together to view their abstract cousins.

This triptych is an Ode to MoMA, serenaded before I could even begin to imagine that I would one day work there. I cannot believe it.

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