The next day began with a stroll down 5th avenue to see all the Christmas lights. We started at our favorite place for Christmas windows: Bergdorf Goodman. The way I describe the fancy department store is that it will be the first place destroyed when the revolution comes. It’s where you can find handbags for sale for $65,000.
But they have the best and most imaginative windows in my opinion. Last year, each window was a tribute to a different artform. So magnificent! This year, each window seemed centered around adjectives dealing with gems like “Crown Jewels” or “Glitterati.” The Crown Jewels window had a Elizabeth I in a chartreuse Elizabethan gown flanked by gold lions in crowns and two shiny nights. Another window “Brilliant” featured a fortuneteller and a giant spinning wheel of fate. “Treasured” featured a mermaid covered in sequins with Poseidon riding a shiny dolphin or fish. These weren’t my favorite of their windows but they were still neat.
Then we wandered up to see Rockefeller Center with its amazing tree. We’ve never actually been to NYC when it has been lit up. It’s neat nonetheless to see the giant tree imposing over the ice skating rink with skaters twirling around it. Also it’s always a nice view with the angels and other golden lit figures line the way to the ice skating rink.
Afterwards, we decided to go to my other favorite museum in NYC: the Museum of Modern Art. There was a Picasso sculpture exhibition going on. I don’t love Picasso as a rule but I really liked his sculpture. It was rather comprehensive, moving from his earliest sculptures, the more traditional ones to his metal plate sculptures (like Chicago’s very own Picasso sculpture). I loved his still life sculptures using actual 3d objects in them! It was neat to see how he’d move from medium to medium, first clay and other traditional substances, then wire and other metals, pottery, and then mixed media sculptures. Or how he’d make use of found objects to make impressive sculptures like this bicycle seat turned deer.
One room was filled with photos by Hungarian photographer Brassi of his sculpture, which was worth checking out too. It was neat to see the real sculptures next to these photos that were able to reveal new vistas and meanings for the pieces.
What I really fell for was his animal sculptures. A beautiful ceramic owl, a plump bull, a metal baboon, or even a found wood goose!
There was another exhibition at the museum that I was keen to see was “Transmissions: Art in Eastern Europe and Latin America, 1960 to 1980.” This was the time period that I studied both for my Chilean comic book propaganda and Cuban poster propaganda. So I was really keen to see it. What made the exhibition for me was a wall of feminist artists from Latin America and Eastern Europe. There was an Ana Mendieta piece, a Cuban painter, that made me happy. I always am keen to see more of her work. This work was a series of self portrait photos where she is pressed against glass. She does amazing things about the body and nature. I saw my first VALIE EXPORT in real life. I have read and researched about her but never seen anything of hers in real life. (I’ve seen video of works). There was a still image from her piece “Action Pants: Genital Panic,” which was really freaking sweet. And they had a sculpture and photo of the cigarette brand VALIE that inspired her new name. Sooo coool!
And then the next gallery was magnificent. It was a wall of posters from Cuba, Chile and Eastern Europe. Some were political posters; others were movie posters. For those of you new to the blog, I wrote my master’s thesis on Cuban poster propaganda. I get to see a poster or two periodically (though it might all have been at the MOMA) so a wall was astonishing. There was the poster of Nixon’s face on bombs falling on Vietnam..So cool. And all the other posters! I also have the dream of one day writing a book comparing other communist/socialist propaganda posters…One day…
And to top it off, there was a wonderful Botero in the next room. This was Lisa heaven!
Afterwards, my husband and I decided to take a detour by wandering through Central Park. It was November but decent enough weather in comparison. Fall was still around; the trees were still dressed in yellow and red leaves. We had fun wandering up and down the various hills (What are these things?!), the lakes of Central Park.
For dinner we met with close friends at Arlington Club NYC, a tasty seafood and meat place. We shared a seafood platter that was fantastic. I had steak for my entree, which was good too.
Later that day, we checked out the windows at Saks Fifth Avenue. The main attraction is this giant light display that is tuned to music every few minutes. It was rather quite lovely light show! As for the windows, I’ve been very disappointed with their windows in the past decade or so. This time, I was really surprised how much I liked them! The windows showcased different monuments of the world like the Pyramids of Giza, Eiffel Tower, the Taj Mahal, and more. They were well-crafted and imaginative. Plus the side windows to the main attraction had interesting vistas of wood lawn creatures dressed to the nines in pearls, spectacles, bowties and more. Very fun.
That’s all for now! Next week, I’ll start talking about trip to France and England for Christmas-time.