Every time I walked around Columbus Circle I wanted to enter the Museum of Art and Design (MAD), but something always got in the way. Extranjera had also suggested me to visit it, so I already had more than one reason to go.
Since 2005 I've found a great pleasure in visiting modern art galleries, no matter if I couldn't understand the art in exhibition -actually you don't have to understand art in order to like it, right? The possibility of discovering an art proposal that delights me is what I enjoy the most by walking through a gallery -even though some times I like even more entering to its store...
If by any chance I happen to like a particular artist, then I begin to search more about him and almost instantaneously I become his follower. (In that way I've discovered the works of artists like Diana Lui, Jenny Holzer and Kara Walker.)
But let's get back to the MAD. The story of my first visit began at the Borders store at 34th street. Going inside that store and reading the magazines has become one of my habits in the few weeks that I've been living in New York. I picked the last issue of Time Out New York and I read that on thursday there was going to be a DIY workshop in the MAD that consisted of bringing an old t-shirt and re-making it with a bunch of cool techniques.
I got interested in going as soon as I read that. The event was free too. But what I haven't read yet was that the event was free basically because on thursdays' afternoons at the MAD -from 5 to 8- you can "pay what you wish" for an admission ticket -which means that if you want to pay a quarter you could just do that. (This also happens in other museums of New York like the MoMA and the Whitney on friday's afternoons.)
The opportunity then seemed perfect to go and visit it. In that way I'd have the chance to assist to the workshop and to check out the exhibitions. I took the subway and I got off at 59st - Columbus Circle. I walked a few blocks and there I was: at the gates of the MAD. I was truly excited.
The museum has 7 floors. It has a store at the Ground floor -which is the other thing that I love about modern & contemporary art museums, I've said it already, right?-, a Studio at the 6th floor -where the workshop was going to take place- and a restaurant at the 7th floor that opens this fall. The rest of the floors are galleries. I decided to see the exhibitions before going to the workshop.
I didn't find especially interesting the first two galleries. There were products made out of wood and glass. Nothing extraordinary. I kept on going up 'til I entered the 4th floor, in which the main exhibition was been displayed. And that was the best thing durnig my first visit at the MAD: Painting with glass by Klaus Moje.
Moje is an artist born in Germany who reinvented the way glass was seen in the art domains in the 20th century. As the title of his exhibition suggests it: he paints with glass. He makes these paintings with little pieces of glass that are melted so they can merge into one another, and then he polish the final product to take off the glass shine. He doesn't want us -the observers- to see his works of art as pieces made by glass. His emphasis relies on color.
All of this information was given to us by Judy, and enthusiastic guide of the Museum who practically imparted us a lecture about the work of this terrific artist: "He has the mentality of a painter and he invented this technique. He sees his work as an emotional response to his environment. He is the greatest glass artist nowadays".
When you see his work and then you see how he made it -there was a video showing how he made one of the pieces in exhibition- you can't do but confirm Judy's last statement. Moje's paintings blew me away. His pieces amazed me so much that I nearly forgot to go to the t-shirts workshop. So after I finished looking at Moje's paintings -I still see them inside my head- I went to the studio.
The place was packed. One more participant could hardly join in. So I decided to stare at all those people reinventing their t-shirts. The results were quite surprising. But I couldn't leave the building without taking another look at Moje's work. So I went down to see one more time these incredible works of art.
I couldn't believe what my eyes were seeing. Moje's work is astonishing. It is hard for me to try and describe you a faithful image of what I saw that day. So if you happen to be in New York these days of if you have the chance of catching an exhibition of this artist, don't hesitate in seeing it.
I'm afraid that's the only way you can feel what I did at my first visit at the Museum of Art and Design of New York.