Wednesday, June 1, 2016


It was perfect weather today so I decided to take advantage and ride my bike across the Queensborough and into the city. I rode up the East Side bike path along the river until I got to 95th and then headed over into Central Park. I stopped to do the old soft shoe to "Mista Dobalina" by Del The Funky Homosapien for awhile in the grass near the sailboat pond. Then I decided that since I was so close to the Met it would be a minor sin not to go see some art. I looked up what was playing. At the Met Breuer was "Unfinished: Thoughts Left Visible," a show of unfinished paintings by the Masters. Totally great. Below are some highlights.

This one was poignant. It was the painting Van Gogh was working on when he killed himself. That unfinished blue sky!

This painting by Degas reminded me of Caravaggio's "Conversion of St. Paul", one of my favorite paintings. (I cried when I saw it after Genevieve and I stumbled across accidentally in church in Rome.) The man is in same position as St. Paul, but these horses are going the opposite way, and running at that. And the jockey doesn't seem to be having the same kind of conversion as St. Paul. But maybe that's the joke? The horses are oblivious of the man in both paintings.

Turner unfinished! It's a straight up link to the Abstract Expressionists, but more beautiful than anything done by the lot.

This Ed Ruscha print cracks me up. The word says "PRECISE" and Ruscha's precise note for the printer (which appears to be unintentially ironic) is to make the letters whiter.

This etching by Rembrandt is personal. St. Jerome reading. The lion is protecting him. I feel like a lion of sorts is protecting me today so I can study Rembrandt etchings at the Met. I love how St. Jerome (myself) appears to still be forming.

I remember in 6th grade seeing an unfinished painting by da Vinci with the inscription "When the eye cries stop, stop." It's still stuck in my mind all these decades later. And now this drawing by him coming from unfinished chaos in the fringes to the "finished" look love in the face of the Madonna.

Jan Van Eyck drawing with just the background painted in. Hard to see here just how exquisite this is.

Albrecht Durer, unfinished Christ. Haunting.

Picasso purposely playing with levels of process.

Warhol taking Picasso's idea a step further. 

Kerry James Marshall takes Warhol a step further with this portrait of the artist in front of a color-by-numbers self portrait. 

I remember seeing this piece by Felix Gonzalez-Torres in San Francisco in the nineties. It's a pile of candy with the same mass as the artist. A self-portrait. You take a piece as a symbol of the the viewer taking a piece of the artist. I kept two pieces of candy from when I saw this pile 20 years ago and I believe I still have them. I guess I didn't need to as it's still being replenished. It's unfinished! I took two more this time to give to my daughters.

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