See the Andrew Wyeth Exhibit at SAM!

Experiencing the Andrew Wyeth in Retrospect exhibit at the Seattle Art Museum is a day well spent, especially on a rainy Seattle Sunday.  Room after room filled with amazing art.  Damn.  I’m in such awe of this artistic talent.

When my antique phone couldn’t download the app for the SAM audio tour, I forked over $4 to rent the old school technology wand to listen to the audio tour.  How embarrassing!

Quite the scoundrel, Wyeth painted up until his death at age 91, sneaking away starting at age 53 to secretly paint a neighbor’s caregiver, Helga, in the nude during a 15 year period without telling his wife.  Oops.  Of course, this was after he had started doing other nudes in a dramatic pivot to erotic art and his wife, Betsy, had told him, “If you do this again, don’t tell me.”  So, he didn’t share and painted nude Helga privately while also cranking out landscapes that he DID show his wife.  Hmmm….

 

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Wyeth’s muse, Helga

 

I appreciate the audio tour interpretation of the paintings because I gaze upon them and think simplistically, “pretty picture” when I should be seeing all kinds of imagery and subtexts telling me about the meaning of life.  Nope.  Not unless I’m told by the kindly intelligent audio guide do I see the “death as a subtext” message and “sex as a rebirth” theme.  I’m an idiot but I do enjoy viewing art as did the huge crowd packing the museum today.

One masterpiece did speak to me, after the audio guide explained that “Snow Hill” was a memorial piece created in 1989 and dedicated to his models, both living and dead, symbolizing renewal and reevaluation of life’s purpose.  The models dancing around the May Pole was quite evocative.  Well done, Wyeth.

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Snow Hill symbolizing renewal

Wyeth painted in tempura and watercolor and pencil sketches.  The attention to detail was incredible especially the blades of grass in the landscapes.  His dad was a famous illustrator who taught him starting at 15 years old.  Wyeth sold out his first NYC show at the ripe old age of 22 and continued to paint until he died in 2018.  He is known for his realism.

 

“I search for the realness, the real feeling of a subject, all the texture around it…I always want to see the third dimension of something…I want to come alive with the object.”              -Andrew Wyeth

The exhibit will be at the SAM until January 15, 2018.  In addition to the paintings and sketches, the SAM has done a nice job incorporating videos about Wyeth’s life and an interactive area with touch screen devices where you can create your own art.  I highly recommend it.  Enjoy!

Rainy Day in Seattle

The grey skies are endless in Seattle in the winter but that doesn’t stop us from exploring and having fun.  No way does rain deter true Seattlites-wet is the norm.  So hoods up and off we went!wp_20170204_13_25_12_rich

First up, fueling up on Marionberry Pie Greek Yogurt at Elenos at Pike Place Market. Yum with a capital “Y”.  Okay, so not exactly diet food but Thom and I endulged in a small container, perching at the counter at the market with a view of the ferris wheel all lit up in pink.  Too soon the yummy, creamy treat was consumed and it was off to the Seattle Art Museum.  Taking in “Jacob Lawrence: The Migration Series”, this journey illustrates through 60 paintings the mass exodus of African Americans from the rural South to the industrial North in the decades after the First World War.  Stunning.

Artist Jacob Lawrence made Seattle his home and was a professor at UW, actively painting up until his death in 2000.  The MOMA in NYC and The Phillips Collection in DC jointly own his series.  They decided to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of Jacob Lawrence by coming together for the first time in two decades on the West Coast to present this special exhibit.  Check it out.  Thought-provoking artistic experience.

Reading the story behind each piece, I was struck that our society has not radically advanced from this time in history.  We still see discrimination and the struggle to be treated equally.  We must keep up the fight for equality for all.

After a quick walk through the rest of the second floor, we hopped on the C bus to West Seattle to indulge in another one of our passions, music.  If you haven’t checked out Easy Street Records yet, GO.  Not only for the vinyl selection on the 2nd floor but just to soak up the vibe of good music, good people and good food.  Our old car doesn’t have Bluetooth but it does have a CD player so we have been indulging in buying some music to listen to with the top down this summer should the rain ever stop.  With CD’s from  The Clash and Jonny Lang in hand, we also got a “Greetings from West Seattle” t-shirt for me to wear to the Springsteen concert in Auckland, NZ.  Two more weeks and then we’re off to the South Pacific for rock and beach time.  YOLO!

 

YSL Perfection at SAM

It was a dark and stormy afternoon with sheets of torrential rain coming down. In other words, a typical Seattle day-perfect for a stroll through the fantastic fashion exhibit at the Seattle Art Museum featuring Yves Saint Laurent in all his glory.  YSL truly experienced an amazing journey from teen fashion prodigy to world famous designer and this exhibit running through 1/8/17 invites you into his world of fashion through a behind-the-scenes look at the designer’s life.

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The exhibit is so much more than the 100+ gorgeous outfits that YSL created.  You can see his early sketches and paper dolls that he created as a teen fashion prodigy, the swatches and drawings that he used to create his collection, personal photos and much more.

YSL was born to create unique and original works of art that spanned a long and turbulent career.  Like most artists, YSL fought childhood bullying first and then, later in adulthood, depression and addictions while somehow creating masterpieces that you can now view at the Seattle Art Museum.  I loved seeing not only the final product but the genius behind the creations.