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Sandydog's avatar

Has there ever been a moment when Art has just come alive for you?

Asked by Sandydog (1261 points ) January 20th, 2010 from iPhone

This happened for me while visiting the Prado museum in Madrid. The whole place just opened up a whole new world for me. 2 paintings in particular were “La Triunfa de la Muerte” by Brugel, and a painting by a man called Grun about the stages in life of a woman from being a pretty young female to an old hag.
After that I visited my local museum in Glasgow. I was going round snapping pictures and later making copies – which I later discovered I shouldn’t have been allowed to do – there were new guards on duty that day !! :-)

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27 Answers

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

Yes.I love art museums,but the most recent artork that has moved me was a drawing from a friend :)

kevbo's avatar

In 1993, I took an overnight train from Munich to Amsterdam. When I arrived at about 8:30 a.m. I made a beeline for the Rijksmuseum, which opened at 9. I decided to put off viewing their showpiece, The Night Watch, and ended up in their basement level exhibit area. It was an area where you had to sign in with a security guard and the giant room contained mostly oil portraits from the 1600s or so (difficult to remember exactly the time period). Amazingly, it was just me, the security guard and hundreds of these oil paintings for about an hour. I didn’t realize how lucky I was (I was 20 at the time) until I went back upstairs and had to deal with tourists swarming The Night Watch, jabbering and taking flash pictures. I wouldn’t say that the art came alive, per se, but it was quite a spiritual moment.

“Come alive” moments have been more common for me at dance performances. I got to usher two seasons of the American Dance Festival in the late 90s and saw a lot of modern dance. One that stood out in particular was a dance that was primarily lit by strobe lights that were controlled by the dancer. The dancer would hit the strobe when she was in the air, so for entire segments of the performance, it appeared she was floating in the air. Fucking amazing.

Snarp's avatar

Well, there was this one time when a statue reached out and tried to grab me. I ran like heck, but the statue stayed right behind me. Fortunately when the stature tried to leave it’s display room it set off the security system and the gate closed behind me, trapping the statue. I’ve never gone back to that museum.

wunday's avatar

I can’t think of one. In a way, I feel like art is always alive for me. I have to say that I hate museums. They are like zoos, with the paintings as the animals and the museum as the cage. Don’t get me wrong. I like museums. I just feel like the art is so uncomfortable out of it’s context. It means less, too.

Trillian's avatar

@Snarp Wow. What are you taking, and can I have some?
@Sandydog. My favorite is the impressionists, Monet most of all. Years ago I’d spend Saturday in that wing in Chicago, just drinking it in.
Dale Chihuly does amazing things with glass that are worth the trip too, it’s a very visceral experience. Also, the Blue man group. They’re incredible and the combination of sight, sound, and the tactile sensation you get from the vibrations you can feel in your ears, head, and viscera, all over really. Wonderful! Exilarating!
I was just on another thread with a similar question…. You’re not planning to take what we say and make it seem that Art is meaningless, are you? That person was…horrible.
Art is to be “experienced” in every sense of the word. Go get Lord Byron’s works. Find Childe Harold. Read it out loud. Cantos three and four particularly. My god, words fail me. Read Tennyson, and Coleridges Kubla Khan. Read Blake, and Yeats. God I love Yeats.
”...the darkness drops again, but now I know. That twenty centuries of stony sleep were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle. And what rough beast, its hour come ‘round at last, slouches toward Bethlehem to be born?”
Art is alive for me always, and I wouldn’t give it up or trade it for anything.

Cruiser's avatar

You mentioned taking pictures which is one of my passions. It is interesting to me when I see others pictures and how their lens captures and interprets that image. A friend of mine shared some of her recent work and I am always amazed by her photographic talents especially her B&W pics. Sheer beauty!

Snarp's avatar

@Trillian Don’t eat the brown acid, man!

Yetanotheruser's avatar

It happened when I visited the Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, FL
talk about your hallucinogens!~

mcbealer's avatar

Visiting the Dali Museum @Yetanotheruser mentions, when I was 16. It was my first time in an art museum, and I was blown away.

That, and making a reed basket in elementary school with live reeds. Very cathartic.

Lightlyseared's avatar

Well, there was an exhibit in the turbine hall of the Tate Modern that basically involved sliding down giant slides (180 feet high). Not only did that bring art alive it made it fun too.

SeventhSense's avatar

Yes, when i made the trip from NY to Philadelphiahia to see the only American retrospective of the Paul Cezanne collection on tour. I was able to truly see what a pivotal figure this man was as art transitioned from Post Impressionism into Abstraction. Previously I hadn’t really considered his importance but his countless views of Montagne Sainte-Victoire was a revelation.

Austinlad's avatar

Such an epiphany happened to me years ago at the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, TX. From a distance, I saw a painting of what looked to be a rabbi staring at me. As I moved closer, I could see his eyes shining. The closer I got, the more alive his face became. The plaque read: Rembrandt van Rijn’s Portrait of a Young Jew.

There were no ropes in front of the painting, so I moved as close as I could and studied those eyes, which now clearly were the product of paint strokes. The glow? It had come from a minuscule dab of white paint in each eye, yet when I backed up a few steps, the eyes turned real again, looking straight into my eyes.

I don’t think I’ve looked at paintings the same way since, and whenever I visit that museum, the young Jew is my first stop.

Blondesjon's avatar

I always loved it when he said, “Hey Ralphie Boy!”

nicobanks's avatar

Sadly, this has never happened to me in a gallery. Although your question makes me think of the first time I saw Klimt’s… I’ve forgotten the name. Chickens on a lawn? Maybe not chickens. (It’s not the one of chickens on a path.) I only saw it in a book, and I was already familiar (and enamoured with) Klimt, but for some reason this one blew my mind.

Oh how I’d love to see this, or any Klimt, in person!!!

nicobanks's avatar

@Trillian You seem to have a love for the romantics. Me too! :P

Trillian's avatar

@ nicobanks Well, Byron anyway. Keats, not so much. I was going to say that what happened to @Austinlad happened to me while I was reading The Prophet, by Kahlil Gibran. I swear I felt warmth and from the corners of my eyes I could see light going on all around me. It was illuminating in every sense. I’ve never had that feeling before or since then.

nicobanks's avatar

@Trillian Byron; and you also mentioned Coleridge and Blake, great Romantics! And Yeats is kind of quasi-Romantic (and so, in my opinion anyway, is Tennyson, although timeline-wise he’s squarely a Victorian… anyway, kudos. It made me happy to read your post, is all.

Trillian's avatar

@nicobanks, thank you! It pleases me beyond measure when what I write affects someone in a positive way! I get bogged down, and think of the romantics as just Byron, Keats, and Shelley. I LOVE Yeats, and Blake. Do you read out loud?

nicobanks's avatar

@Trillian Rarely, although I recognize the benefit. I often read poetry under my breath, though (when I’m alone). It helps get the rhythm down.

SeventhSense's avatar

@nicobanks
That was “Chickens Crossing the Road”...sadly it doesn’t exist anymore. ~_~

Yetanotheruser's avatar

@Blondesjon lurve for Art Carney as Ed Norton in The Honeymooners! Classic comedy and true art!

Trillian's avatar

@Blondesjon , maybe you can share with your string of polapunees.~ ;-)

Blondesjon's avatar

@Trillian . . . To date, still one of the greatest puns in television history. Lurve.

Trillian's avatar

Yeah, always been one of my favorites. ;-)

nicobanks's avatar

@SeventhSense Are you sure? The birds are on a lawn in the painting I’m thinking of… like white dots on a green expanse.

SeventhSense's avatar

@nicobanks
LOL Why did the chickens cross the road?

nicobanks's avatar

@SeventhSense Oh I missed the tildes… har har

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