This is my first art / design related post on my blog – and after a month of blogging, I think it’s long overdue haha. This past weekend, my family drove through upstate NY, and I got the chance to finally experience the wonderland that is Storm King Art Center. It’s been on my “places to see” list for a little while now, and I keep hearing / seeing good things about it from multiple sources (mostly Instagram because… let’s be real: that’s my main source of *news*). The Jeff Koons exhibit is something I saw about 3 weeks ago at The Whitney (in Manhattan, NY) but never wrote a post about. The exhibit is the last to be hosted at the Madison Ave Whitney location before it relocates in the spring to somewhere in the Meatpacking District. I made it my mission to be sure to see it, and that was one of the reasons why. Both of these trips could have easily been separate blog posts, but since the Jeff Koons exhibit is winding down, I figured I would include it with my most recent venture to Storm King. Both of these exhibits have to do with sculpture – and while that isn’t what I studied in school - it’s one of my favorite fine art fields to go out and see. This may or may not have to do with my love for dimensional design in my own (graphic design) work. I love the interactivity of sculpture; you can’t “walk around” a flat painting to observe different angles like you can with a 3D piece. Sculpture is also affected by light and shadows – which is recipe for epic photos ;) I took a bajillion (photos) during both trips, so brace yourselves.
10/12 -- STORM KING ART CENTER
I’ll start with Sunday’s trip first – since it was most recent. My family drove upstate with original plans to spend the entire day at Woodbury Premium Outlets. I didn’t think we would end up spending the entire day there though (because ain’t nobody got money for that), and definitely wanted to seize the opportunity of being upstate. My family rarely drives up there, and as noted in my last entry – isn’t exactly adventure hungry like I am … so I took matters into my own hands of researching other places in the area to explore. We made plans to head to Bear Mountain State Park, but due to Oktoberfest festivities … roads surrounding the area were closed off and traffic was horrendous so we decided to go to Storm King instead. I was pretty stoked to explore Bear Mountain’s 5000 acres that overlook the Hudson River… but I guess that adventure will have to be saved for another time. We did see some nice views while driving in circles though, and my dad pulled the car over a few times so I could snap some quick photos – so at least there was that.
Also, Storm King was not a bad alternative - so, no complaints!
From the Bear Mountain area, Storm King was about a 30-40 minute drive… which was a time-suck on top of the time lost in traffic. We didn’t get to Storm King until about 3 PM, which wasn’t really ideal since the park closed at 5:30. I felt a bit rushed, but tried to make the best of everything and enjoy it / see as much as possible for the couple hours we did have. It was absolutely breathtaking, and I would go back in a heartbeat. I easily could have spent the full day there. Most of the sculptures were massive and made me feel so small in comparison, and it was so fun to walk under them and around them. The park is 500 acres, so all the sculptures got plenty of breathing room. It was the perfect mixture of art and nature – two of the things I love most in this world – so I was a super happy camper… :D
The park is also surrounded by mountains, and at this time of year the fall foliage was killin’ it. It was like a bigger, more beautiful, massively spacious, more epic version of Pratt’s Brooklyn campus sculpture garden (Pratt (Institute) being the college I graduated from). Alyson Shotz’s “Mirror Fence” piece was one of my favorites that I spent a good amount of time interacting with. It was a piece that I made sure I saw within the 2-hour time frame that we were there.
I was slightly sad that no one in my family was willing to take some badass portrait shots… Storm King literally is the perfect location for this.
If I lived closer - I’d be there every damn day either indulging in a solo picnic, reading a book, or taking obnoxious amounts of self portraits.
At times, I felt like I was kinda dragging my parents / younger brother along. I think my dad enjoyed it the most of the 3 of them, however - he specializes in business, my mom is an accountant, and my brother is studying accounting… so I am the odd one out… #switchedatbirth.
Despite their constant confusion and questioning "what is it supposed to be?!" over the more abstract sculptures -- I, personally, had a blast.
The weather was gorgeous, and the afternoon’s autumn light was magical (especially when the sun started to set).
I went to this exhibit by myself a few weekends ago, and spent a good few hours there. I got to use my alumni ID for the first time, which was a weird feeling… but it was great because I got to skip the massive line. (Pratt alumni get free admission to the Whitney :D). I showed up at 11 am, when the museum opens, and the line was already out the door and wrapped around the corner of the sidewalk. The variety of Koons’s work was definitely great to see all in one place. This exhibition filled up basically the entirety of the Whitney. My favorite things about this exhibit were definitely the bright color palette (because I am obsessed with all things colorful) and the number of sculptural pieces that utilized reflective / mirror surfaces. It’s impossible to leave this exhibit without taking some sort of selfie, and it’s hard to believe all those “balloon” sculptures are made from stainless steel. I had a nice moment where I had the room with the “Elephant” sculpture basically all to myself, and it was fun to see how the piece interacted with the surrounding paintings.
I felt like a little kid in some sort of fun house, with the exception of a few (more explicit) pieces haha… There were a ton of little kids there the day I went; I think the exhibit even offered children’s guide books. It’s hard to believe this is the last time I’ll ever have set foot in the Whitney’s Madison Ave location… but I’m excited to see the new location too (it's supposed to be a lot bigger). This coming weekend (Oct. 18-19) is the final weekend to see the exhibition, and the Whitney is remaining open for 36 continuous straight hours (which is crazy, but awesome – sleepover at the Whitney, anybody?!) If you live in or near NY, I highly recommend you go try to see it this weekend before it’s gone!
I’m always on the look-out for new exhibitions and places to see, so if you have suggestions – I’d love to hear them in the comments below!