Thursday, February 23, 2017

A Wednesday Trip to the Whitney

Because of Fordham's flexible schedule, I have no classes on Wednesdays, which means time for adventuring! With the wintery weather, my current go-to has been visiting one of the multitude museums in Manhattan. However, as the sunshine made an appearance yesterday, I was excited to go visit the Whitney Museum of American Art, not only for the amazing collection and always changing exhibits but also for the stunning views from the museum's rooftop. 

Upon entering the museum, visitors are greeted by Glenn Ligon's 'America' neon sign, apt for the American art that will be displayed in the museum. A similar work by Ligon can also be found the LA's contemporary art museum, The Broad. When I saw this piece, I immediately knew I would enjoy the rest of the works to follow. 

When navigating between the various levels of the museum, visitors can choose to take the elevator or opt for a more artistic, whimsical walk up the staircase and features, what seems to be, a never-ending string of light bulbs coming from the ceiling. 

Along the many pieces of art in the museum, none mesmerized me more that Urs Fischer's 'Standing Julian.' The almost eight-foot tall candle portrait depicts of artist-director, Julian Schnabel. In reality, Schnabel stands only 5'8; yet, Fischer's candle portrays him as a larger-than-life giant. The candle, which weighs 1,000 pounds, was light around April 2016. Every day, museum workers light the massive Schnabel and then extinguish the flame at night. As one can see from the photograph, Julian has been quite literally melting away over the past year. I could only sit and stare at this piece, observing the wax stalactites that formed from drops of the substance rolling down the body of Julian. In fact, the candle man's head had fallen off at some time and now rests upon the floor, staring up at visitors. The area around Schnabel can only be classified, quite aptly, as a beautiful mess. With a muddling of wax colors puddling on the floor and the luminescent glow of the light wicks, Standing Julian is a sight to behold. 

The Whitney, boasting 'Standing Julian,' any many other exquisite works of art, such as neon signage, works be Keith Haring, and downright whimsical, dream-like exhibits should most definitely be considered for your next city outing. To learn more about the Whitney and its current exhibits, click here. 

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