The Guggenheim of New York: A window into the Soul of Art
February 9, 2017
A New Yorker who is Naive about the Guggenheim of New York
So, I had always heard of the Guggenheim of New York, but I had never been there. And to be honest, I had no idea what to expect. I mean, I didn’t even know what type of art was inside, let alone the artists that were encased inside this architectural delight of modernity. I mean, would the installments
consist of people dancing around naked or would there be paintings with elephant dung on them? I just had no idea. My mind just spun around and around like a top, with a variety of increasingly insane possibilities.
All I knew was that the building looked modern, so I assumed that the artwork encased within must be modern in nature too. Had I known that the works of Picasso, Van Gogh, Jackson Pollock, etc. were the jewels hidden within this crown of modern art and expression, I would have been here a lot sooner.
What the Guggenheim of New York Meant to Me
Now, I am no modern art expert. And if I am honest, some of the art was a little too modern for my taste. But, I do have to admit, and this is hard for a stoic New Yorker like myself to do, that the artwork housed within this museum evoked tremendous emotion within me. And isn’t that the true purpose of art, to make you feel something that you didn’t know was there? I mean don’t get me wrong, the feelings were not all joy. The pieces in this collection made me uncomfortable and challenged me to rethink my world and how I interact with it
I mean a great example of the evocative nature of this museum is when I entered the fifth floor of the building. Housed on this floor is a giant, mechanical arm that mops up and splashes blood colored liquid around a giant see through room. This piece is representative of modern warfare and the way in which modern machines have created boundaries between people that have led to more bloodshed (I did not get this thorough analysis on my own. LoL. I read it on the information card next to the piece.).
I honestly teared up when I saw this piece. My heart sunk as I witnessed blood being splashed about in such a mechanical way. It was as if death and the loss of human life meant nothing in this piece of art. But I guess my real inner turmoil stems for the truly horrifying notion that maybe this artist had a point. Maybe I need to stop occupying myself with the mundane reality of my everyday life. Maybe I need to look at the world around me and question what is going on, rather than just going along with it. But no matter what happens in my future, this art opened my mind and my heart, and I couldn’t ask for anything more from a visit to a museum.
The Guggenheim of New York has Something for Everyone
Now if you had told me before I went to this museum that I would be talking about what a mechanical arm made me feel and think, I would have told you that you were insane. Usually, that type of modern art is just not my scene. And it may not be yours. I mean, there were a lot of multimedia art installments that were interesting but just not for me. And that’s okay. Part of traveling is figuring out what you do and do not like.
But don’t let the modernity of this place deter you from visiting. Several floors of the museum house classic paintings from the impressionist era that literally, took my breath away, like this one painting of a woman by Picasso. She looked so sad and it really reminded me of how I have thought and felt throughout various times in my life. It was wondrous to behold because it felt like someone captured the essence of my soul on a canvas.
But even if you don’t have this type of emotional experience, and simply cannot find a single piece of art that you like, which probably won’t happen, just marvel at the sheer awesomeness of the building. I mean, the lines and the contours of the building itself require you to stop, sit, look up, take a picture, and just be (The take a picture part is essential. So many cool shots in this building.).
I mean foe me, part of the beauty of this museum experience is just sitting and being in this awe-inspiring place. It’s like my body had to be still so that I could really absorb all the artistic wonder that this building has to offer.
The Guggenheim of New York : Logistics
Okay, enough flowery, emotional talk. Let’s get down to business! The museum is at a great location, right on 1071 5Th avenue, between 88th and 89th. To get there, just hop on the 4, 5, or 6, and get off at 86th street and Lexington. From there, walk three blocks over and BOOM, you’re there. You know you’re going the right way if you hit Central Park and see the architectural genius of Frank Lloyd Wright standing right in front of you.
While the museum is open between 10 am and 5:45 pm everyday, except Thursday it’s closed and Saturday it’s open until 7:45 pm, the museum still gets super crowded. And I don’t know about you, but I really hate being trapped within a mob of tourists who are poking each other with selfie sticks, so that they can get the best shot of themselves in from of their favorite Picasso painting.
To avoid this type of insanity all together, I would stay away from the museums on the weekend and go as early as you can during the week, while still having an enjoyable experience (I know, I hate getting up at the crack of dawn on vacation too. I always want to sleep late because I can’t in normal life.).
Now keep in mind, the museum is rather expensive at $25 a ticket. So if you’re broke like a joke, like me at the moment, then try and go between 5:45-7:45 on Saturday evening. It’ll be insanely crowded and there will be a massive line just to get into the museum, but you can pay what you wish and save a ton of money. Just remember that the last tickets are issued an hour before closing.
And give yourself enough time to take a lot of pictures because the architecture of the building is amazing, and that’s putting it mildly. I mean, I don’t know much about architecture, but I know this
place is really cool. LoL.
Also, if you have time and need a snack, the cafe here is REALLY expensive. Therefore, head over to Levain Bakery and grab a cookie. Seriously, the BEST cookie I have ever had. You will not be disappointed and I think your life will change. Ok, maybe just a little, but you still HAVE to go! To find about more great food in New York City, click here.