This week I was blessed with having a Wednesday off, a rare thing indeed. To say I am slightly obsessed with art museums is an understatement. When I went to Paris my favorite museum was actually Musee D’Orsay, a smaller museum located a little ways away. There is an entire floor just filled with Monet, Degas, Van Gogh, and countless other timeless works of art. So I have definitely seen some famous works of art to say the least.
But tucked away on the coast of Wisconsin, is the Milwaukee Art Museum. There is something so fantastical about the building itself, as it stands dramatically against the backdrop of basic skyscrapers. It is designed to look like sails, and was actually featured in Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon.
Art museums are as subjective as the art they contain. You can come away feeling taken and in awe, or just bored and with sore feet. I love that the Milwaukee Art Museum has a combination of modern art, classic art, statues, history, and just general experimental pieces. When you go to “The” art museums such as The Louvre, it’s all about classics, because it is a place to house them. In opposition, this museum allows for a combination of everything. There’s something for everyone, and if you don’t find something you like, that’s on you.
I believe that everyone should visit art museums, everyone. Children, high schoolers, university students, working people, and everyone in between. It is humbling to see the amount of thought, time, energy, and love that goes into these pieces. The creativity alone is crazy to see, as someone who doesn’t have artistic talent, it’s just insane to think that someone came up with this and executed it and now it exists in the world. It is a reminder to everyone that there is beauty in the world, that there are people who put love and energy into something beautiful that can be enjoyed by the world. They don’t work a 9-5 work day, instead that put all of their passion into doing something meant to inspire.
If you let yourself be vulnerable, pieces will speak to you. Such as my friend Zach, who shot my “Let’s Summon Demons” LookBook. His favorite piece is this simple piece below.
In opposition this is my favorite piece.
I love the colors, they are calming and unexpected for a portrait. It is so natural, it is as if she has been captured in a vulnerable moment but doesn’t view it that way. The way her hair is brushed to the side, and her stomach has rolls and a belly are a true woman, not an airbrushed model. It isn’t glorified or sexualized, it’s life captured in lovely shades of the rainbow. If I were to have a painting of myself I’d want it to be like this, rather than one of the realistic portraits. The simplicity and beauty of the human figure, shown in real life. It’s not posed and edited like Instagram photos.
Art allows you to be introduced into someone else’s world and find a connection, whether you feel disturbed or aroused or entranced. It’s that gut reaction that keeps me coming back. I’ve stared at some paintings for ages just enthralled by details and colors and everything in between. Let art take over your mind. Don’t be embarrassed you can’t stop looking at a picture of a girl and a cat. It’s disturbing, but you can’t stop looking away!
Or perhaps you found this room off to the side of the museum and just sat and enjoyed the light playing off the glass.
My parents always believed that art was a vital part of growing up. I was lucky enough to go to musicals, plays, art museums, gardens, museums, and random activities. I don’t think you’re ever too old to begin appreciating the arts. It always confused me that the arts were the first to be cut in schools. I have used the things I learned in art and creative writing in my life more than science or math. So if art museums aren’t something you’ve visited before, got the Milwaukee Art Museum or your local areas museum. Throw some art and culture and beauty into your life.
Art shows our history, inner struggles, and modern issues. You can learn about the world around you through the eyes of the artist. Artists aren’t just Americans, they are Haitian, French, Dutch, suffering from mental disorders, dying from disease, and architects creating timeless buildings. There isn’t an “artist” type.
It is an ever-evolving medium that doesn’t disappoint. Take an afternoon, or a weekend and go to an art museum. The world is filled with terrible things, but there is beauty that can let you escape, even for a short time. Walk slowly, take your time, and let the art move you. Then tell me about it in the comments below. Best art museum you’ve been to, or a piece that moved you. Let’s all start appreciating the arts more.