Dale Chihuly at VMFA, and photography and accessibility of art
I visited a new Dale Chihuly exhibit at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, VA today. A guard told me that while photography is generally prohibited in the museum, Chihuly explicitly demands photography of his work be allowed, and that there be no physical barriers between visitors and the glass creations. This desire for accessibility and openness made me appreciate his work in a new way. Here are some snapshots I took of the show. My mom used to work at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, VA. I am in town today visiting, so we took a quick trip to the museum to check out the beautiful new building (completed in 2010), and a current show of the über-famous, über-promoted Dale Chihuly, whom I used to mock as the Thomas Kinkade of glass. You know what? That was unfair. His work is so beautiful when you're surrounded by it up close, and while I'd seen individual works before, I hadn't seen it like this. I get it now.
This show includes work from the eighties through the twenty-teens, and a site-specific "Mille Fiori" installation called Laguna Torcello that is the largest platform installation every assembled by the artist.
I am testing out a new iPhone 5, and shot some pictures to share with everyone on Boing Boing. I'm digging how it handles low-light and high-color-saturation environments, and this is certainly one of them.
Apart from how beautiful the exhibition is, and how beautifully lit and presented everything is, I wanted to share a little conversation we had with one of the guards.
The museum's policy is generally to prohibit all photography, and to create physical boundaries between the public and 3-dimensional works in shows like this.
A guard told us today that Chihuly explicitly demands in his contract that all photography (except flash use) must be allowed, and arranged things so that this work—remember, it's glass, folks!—would be presented naked, not behind guard rails or velvet ropes or barriers of any kind.
It's so accessible that I felt a little nervous, and wondered how inevitable it was that some clumsy visitor would drop a purse or bang into something, shattering hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars worth of art.
Apart from the guards, however, the only real barrier was an electric sensor in a few places that made an annoying sound when people got too close to one of the works.
Anyway, this attitude of openness and accessibility seemed rare for an artist in that kind of space. It made me respect and appreciate Chihuly in a new way. Yes, of course, people snapshotting and sharing his work serves to promote it further. But not every artist, and not every institution, recognizes this.
The show's great. Check it out if you're in the area before February, 2013. Don't miss the "reeds" in the water garden outside of the café.
Chihuly at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Oct 20, 2012—Feb 10, 2013.
A judge in Spain has ordered the exhumation of artist Salvador Dali’s body for genetic testing, so that a paternity lawsuit may be resolved. Dali died in 1989; Pilar Abel believes the painter is her father, from an affair he reportedly had with a maid in 1955. From Agencia EFE: Una juez de Madrid ha […]
Bravo, CNN artist Bill Hennessy. CNN equated the briefing to a Supreme Court argument — an on-the-record event at which cameras are banned. Hennessy has been a Washington-based courtroom sketch artist for decades. He has covered a wide range of cases, including the Clinton impeachment proceedings, terror suspect trials, and Guantanamo Bay detainee hearings. He […]
On her Vegan-themed Instagram account Tropically Lina, Lina Saber uploads a delightful series called “fruit cards” where she arranges produce on paint card-style displays. I find these immensely satisfying to look at. Which fruit card would you like? Only 2 fruits here have a ridiculously high amount of antioxidants compared to all the others, can […]
Learning a new language will give your resume an upgrade, sure, but it will also provide a huge cognitive boost for mental tasks outside of translation and conversation. Bilingual brains have been shown to be better at handling multiple concurrent tasks, and gaining fluency in a new tongue is an amazing way to improve memory, […]
If you struggle to get a good night’s rest, consider replacing your pillows before dropping hundreds on a new mattress. You can give your tired neck a break with a 2-pack of memory foam pillows, available now in the Boing Boing Store.Each of these pillows is stuffed with cooling polyurethane foam that molds to your […]
Although flagship smartphones are unlikely to adopt heavy-duty outer casing anytime soon, you can always prepare your device for the outdoors with a beefy case and and an external battery like this Nomad Tile Trackable PowerPack, available in the Boing Boing Store for $119.95.The Nomad Tile can fully recharge an iPhone 7 over three times […]