Saturday, August 23, 2008

HC: How much is that doggie on the roof

The Metropolitan Museum of Art now has a Jeff Koons' balloon dog sculpture on the roof. It has to be seen. It is adorable, whimsical, and more than a little mind-boggling. 

It's a folded balloon dog, but it's 10 feet tall.
It's a balloon, but it's made of stainless steel.
It's on the top of a roof, and there's the fear that it could blow away at any moment...but you know it's not going anywhere.
It's its own entity, but there YOU are, reflected goofily in it, distorted like in the mirrors on an amusement park pier, making it impossible to take the sculpture seriously, but WOW WHAT A SCULPTURE.

If sweet, funny, huge balloon doggies aren't your thing, go down to the shark in a box display by Damien Hirsh, entitled "The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living." This piece of art grabs you by the throat, and gut, and is more than a little creepy.

In our daily lives, how many of us will come face to face with a shark? Yet at the Met, there you are standing mere inches away from this amazing creature as it floats, menacingly, but not. Seeing this shark at the Met is akin to seeing Queen Victoria at a wax museum. It's not going to happen in real life, but it sure feels real. This is another exhibit that messes with your head. The shark looks so alive but it's not. I felt guilty that this shark, shall we say, gave it's life for art? It should've died a natural open-sea death, finally being eaten by all the other hungry living things in the sea. If it were, however, I wouldn't have the opportunity to see it, and be thrilled by it. It's very creepy and totally fascinating. You want to look deeper and deeper into the shark's mouth, but it feels invasive. You know it's dead but there's that little feeling in the pit of your stomach that says WATCH OUT I'M GOING TO BITE YOU. The fact that the shark looks dissipated only adds to the slightly sinister feeling of the exhibit.


The Write Bunch said...

Wow. Thank you for posting this! I love both of these pieces. When I was there in 2006, Wendy did her tour guide thing (and it was a blast!!) and we visited the Met. I had a marvelous time running from floor to floor ... yet never made it to the roof. :)
Thank you thank you thank you!

The Write Bunch said...

HC: It's a national treasure, that museum. Come visit again, and get to the roof this time. It's actually small, with just a few pieces.