Saturday, May 5, 2007

MoMA: Monet & Pollock

Reflections of Clouds on the Water Lily Pond by Claude Monet (1840-1926) is one of the most spectacular works of art at the MoMA, not just for its sheer size (6' 6 3/4" x 41' 10 3/8" or 200 x 1276 cm) but its beauty and colors. The painting from the Impressionist movement, occupies the entire length of a gallery has three leather benches in front of it for admirers to sit down, relax and enjoy the scenery.

This painting by Jackson Pollock entitled, One: Number 31, 1950 is a perfect example of his drip and pour technique, which he popularized during the Abstract Expressionist era. The painting is 8' 10" x 17' 5 5/8" (269.5 x 530.8 cm) and is one of many Pollocks exhibited in the permanent collection at the MoMA.


When taking these photos, I was torn between simply taking a perfectly aligned photo of the art work only OR do I want to include museum goers in the picture. What do you think? Do you usually include strangers in your photo or do you make every effort to exclude them?

21 comments:

Jilly said...

Ming, no question - the way you've photographed these paintings is perfect - to include the public. We then get a feel of the museum. If we wanted to see the painting itself, we can go online and find it. Your photographs have brought the whole scene of the museum to life. Wonderful!

Photographing paintings, with people looking at them, also gives a sense of perspective as to the size of the painting.

angela said...

Jilly's said pretty much what I thought.
It's easy to find pictures online but the people too make up what a museum or art gallery is all about.
The Monet leaves me stunned by its beauty, the Pollack less so...I prefer life in soft focus.
Angela

Dina said...

oh well what can i say ... you really did a great job photographing these great two pieces of art.

I myslef prefer the monet reflections...

Glenn Standish said...

Oh wow! Brings me back 12 years ago to my A'Level History of Art classes! I absolutely love Monet...and that painting sure is spectacular! Thanks for popping over to Toruń DP. Check us out today for something a little different!

Z said...

While I think the inclusion of people adds a special something to the photo, I have to go with my gut which says "do unto others..." and remember that I just don't want to find myself on some stranger's blog one day. If I must show people, and the venue isn't a public thing like a parade, I try to catch them in situations where their faces or other distinguising features are hidden. Does that make sense?

Z said...

Should have added: "just like you've done in your photos here".

Dsole said...

yes i think you did it great!
It depends of what are the photos for... for NY DP it's nice to show us people, I would had done the same.
by the way, the light is really great i find difficult those indoor photos, and yours are amazing!

Dsole said...

and I forget! the Monet is really beautiful! I wish someday I could see it personally! :)

Abraham Lincoln said...

I am glad you included the people. It makes more sense to me and I like them this way. And thank you for visiting my blog.

Sally said...

OMG - having pangs. A year ago I was at MoMA and want to be there NOW. I ove Pollock, and like this painting very much BUT, I think it is not his greatest. i honestly think that title belongs to Blue Poles in the Australian national gallery. caused such a furore when they paid $1.3 million in the 1970s. Now absolutely priceless, of course.
My favourite room at MoMA is trhe Picasso/Braques Cubist room, starting with Les Demoiselles d'Avingnon and then tracing the (brief) history of Cubism thru those 2 great artists.

I like people in museum pics. If you want a pic of the work, buy a postcard in the museum shop!

The Monet is okay, but I think the bestter ones are in the Mueee Marmottan in paris. Sorry! And pollock is sooooo New York.

Oya said...

I like to include people into my photos, because it gives a stronger idea about the city life and culture...So, you did good:)

Annie said...

It always seems good, to me, to get the fuller context of the scene, so I like having the viewers there alongside the paintings. These two were great choices of paintings, too, since so many out here in the world are familiar with those artists.

Gerald England said...

generally agree about photos of the place with the paintings therein more interesting than a photo of just the art.
In almost any gallery in the UK photography is expressly forbidden without an official permit.

GMG said...

Loved these two. The Monet I saw for the first time at the Moma in 1979, I think; the Pollack was seen earlier, in Lisbon, when it was shown at the Gulbenkian Foundation in the early 70s, I believe...
Great shots!

Ming_the_Merciless said...

Thanks for the input, everyone.

I am surprised too, that photography is allowed at the museums here especially since the museum shops make most of their money from selling postcards and other paper products of the art works. But I'm happy they allowed us to photograph the scene. I did ask the security personnel before I took the photos. All they said were "no flash".

Fabrizio ikol22 said...

First of all thank you of sharing piece of good art then MoMA is... What it is and if known all over the world I think there's a rsason :-)

Talking about people into photo, it depends by the kind of the photo. In some landscape I hate people inside but generally (even if we all should love to not include persons) we're in wrong 'cause persons let feel more vivid and alive the photo. This is my opinion.

Sally said...

In my experience it's ok to take photos pretty much anywhere in galleries - the UK is the only place I've seen it forbidden - and now the Louvre (but that's very recent - up til a couple of years ago, no flash was ok)

Todd HellsKitchen said...

I've always been a fan of the bottom painting...

Nathalie said...

Ming I agree with everyone here, people add a wonderful dimension to your shots. If only because you can then (if haphazardedly) work on a composition of your own.

If you just want to see the works, buy a postcard, as Sally says.

Am enjoying these MoMa shots tremendously.

www.DeltaMovies.com said...

You have an unwavering tendency to include the often inspiring human component in your photos. Instead of a drab postcard style point and click process, you consistently seek out the unique angles that showcase human interest and involvment.

I luv the MOMA - very inspirational. A must-see for anyone visiting the city.

Strangely enough, it reminds me that while thoughtful onlookers come and go, these timeless human-crafted works of art will remain for the enjoyment and opinions of future generations.

Have a wonderful Sunday!

Brien
www.DeltaMovies.com

Anonymous said...

Monet is great. Jackson Pollock was a drunken no-talent hack and no amount of art-elitist blatherings can mask the fact that the finished product, no matter how big and colorful, even in real life, looks like random paint splatterings. The only thing more pathetic than an 'artist' hiding behind 'novelty' to hide the fact that he has no God given talent is the cattle who buy into the hype.