I've always been the artistic type. I mean I can't draw for shit but I like making things out of nothing. I like creating something, no matter the medium that wasn't there before. That's one reason I write. I like to make shit up. Well that and it's a release which is healthy for anyone.
When I was in school I would visit art galleries on a daily basis, I even worked in one in SOHO for a while which I won't name here because between you and me, the woman who owned it was a total bitch who was sleeping with a married man. She spent more time in the Hampton's than she did at work and when she did show up, sent me to Dean & Deluca to get coffee for her, knowing she just passed the fucking place on her way in! I substituted whole milk for skim and also charged a white hot chocolate for myself, so I WIN!
Anyhoo, I went to all kinds of shows when I was in school including one where someone had a bowl of urine that they sat a cross in which I thought was a stupid grab for attention that worked and then Love Spit Love which was three naked couples (gay, straight and Bi) hanging out while possibly kissing or whatever. I got the point of that one but the point was better than the actual show. I think I still have the card from that show. I remember it being a big deal at the time in the early 90s so I was glad to go. We also had a show once all about orifices and a homeless guy came in and stole one of the, um, holes and the curator had to chase him down the street to get her, um, hole back. Priceless!
A lot of famous people came into the gallery when I worked there as well, which was fun. Alec Baldwin came in before he started deeply hating his wife and Matt Dillon as well who I have always loved. I had a 10 minute conversation with him about screwdrivers and my accent. Matt Dillon was more fun and Alec Baldwin is even harrier than you'd imagine. He also didn't really seem to have a sense of humor but that just may have been his arrogance. Who knew he'd one day become Canteen Boy?
The point I'm making is that I used to have a completely different life and while the life I have now is wonderful even when my kids make me feel like I want to stand in traffic, I still find that I miss certain things that it just isn't as easy to do. In fact sometimes it's been so long that I've done something that I once did daily that when I finally do it I'm shocked that I stayed away from something so long that I loved so much. You get so busy with kids that you look up one day and that baby you brought home wrapped in blue is now four years old and tearing through a museum past priceless paintings at break neck speeds.
On Sunday my husband and I went into DC to the National Portrait Gallery. It closed for renovations in 2000 and reopened in 2006, but I haven't been since it opened again, so it's been a while. When my kids weren't screaming and Owen wasn't trying to climb on statues (they frown upon that, who knew?) it was nice. I actually could have stayed all day but in an attempt to get out before the kids burned the place down, I found myself running from room to room. I took a few photos here and there of my favorite things but I couldn't really do more than that, but what I was able to see was pretty neat.
I plan to go back sans kids and have already set the wheels in motion. I could spend an entire day walking around this museum and not tire of it. I didn't even make it to the photography section. I did walk through the Hall of Presidents which had other photographs as well as portraits of all the Presidents. Most of them were nice and they looked as I've seen them portrayed in photos and paintings before. John F. Kennedy looked more like Bobby than himself and Bill Clinton's was painful to the eyes. I didn't like anything about it, not to mention it's HUGE! I guess it would have to be because you have to stand far away before your eyes can focus on it, but that junkx just wasn't necessary. I also noticed as we exited the Hall of Presidents that most of the slave owners were in the same room. Just an observation.
I wonder if the artist even liked Bill Clinton. This portraits makes him look like a bumpkin, which he isn't. He is a Rhodes scholar. He's just so smart that he made everyone think he was just like them. Love me some Bill Clinton.
Like I said, they had photographs of others besides Presidents in the Hall of Presidents, people who were important both during and to the President's term. The one that stands out the most was of Martin Luther King Jr. He was in JFK's section, of course. It was a black and white photograph that I'm kicking myself for not taking a photo of. I didn't because Owen was running around slapping the feet of Jimmy Carter so I was a mom in motion. In the photograph he was looking into the camera lens with clearly tired soulful eyes. I've always loved him but I especially loved this photo. This isn't it but I love it as well.
I can't wait to go again and soon. NO KIDS ALLOWED!