Tag Sculpture

Free Day

I’m in a workshop at Columbia College which gets me right down on Michigan Avenue every weekday. Last Wednesday was free day at the Art Institute of Chicago and I had a great walk through there with my friend Thomas. Here is a video of what it was like.

I was most struck by this Rodin bronze, Head of Pierre de Wissant. The slack-jawed sorrow on his face surprised me when I passed by the case. But I’ll have to come back because I only got a quick look at a case full of these hilarious little bronze heads.

I haven’t been able to articulate for myself what it feels like to see in person the paintings I’ve seen reproduced and riffed on a thousand times before. The closest I can come is that it’s like meeting a celebrity—the thrill of recognition but without any other familiarity.

Nighthawks is beautiful in person, but I didn’t get a long look at it. My sister  used to have print of it hanging in her room when we lived on Billings Avenue. The 10-12 year old me was particularly fascinated with the 5¢ PHILLIES sign and unsettled by the ghastly redhead and skeletal waiter. Seeing it in person I didn’t look at the ghouls at all, only at vibrant area to the right of them. I noticed two details: one of the samovars in empty, and the door has a  single brush stroke for a push plate. Now I feel like all I have is a he’s way shorter than I thought he would be story.