People come from all over the world to visit the Museum of Modern Art. For some, it’s the only reason to visit New York. MoMA is just 10 short blocks from my office—a few minute jaunt up 5th Avenue. Benevolent Dictators, Inc. is a corporate sponsor and by showing my company ID, I avoid paying the $20 admission fee and I can jump the queue. I’m very lucky in that regard. If I don’t pop in for a visit every so often, I start to feel like a Big Loser who doesn’t take advantage of some nice things that are laid out on my table. Plus, I really like looking at paintings. Always have. So it doesn’t feel obligatory.
I saw the Ernst Kirchner exhibit last night. I knew very little about him going in. I loved it. Do you know that thrill you get when you discover something new? I got it last night. I wish it occurred more frequently. It seems that the older you get, the less it happens.
Kirchner was a German Expressionist who lived in Berlin around the turn of the century. The focus of the exhibit was a series of Berlin Street Scenes.
The exhibit’s centerpiece was seven amazing works painted in 1914 that feature elegantly dressed prostitutes working the busy Berlin streets. He had a sharp, knife edge style that worked perfectly for urban images. The exhibit was padded with some studies and sketches, which I always think is such a cheap shot. What artist wants his working sketches exhibited? It’d be no different than authors releasing working copies of their manuscripts. It’s ridiculous. Stop it.
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I felt I should have a counterweight to all that high art so after MoMA, I ducked into a theater and saw Tropic Thunder. I paid $12 to get in and it was, at best, a $5 movie so if you see Ben Stiller, tell him he owes me $7 bucks.