Monday, August 15, 2016

Mama MIA, Maya!

This week was a 5-day date week between me and my little monkey. Hubby and big sister flew to NY for a few days, and I got to hang out with my little one. As much as I miss one when one of the kids are away, it's always a treat to spend one-on-one time with each kid. And that's also why we do these trips - alternating.

My date was very easy to please.  During the week, we spent time biking around the neighborhood, having a movie night, getting up late, and going out on a fancy dinner date (toasting with chocolate milk!) one night.

But the highlight was the weekend.  The weather was gorgeous so we hiked and hit the beach and built sand castle, knocked it down, and built another. We picnicked on trail mix and apples, and went back in time for a play date with her bestie at the splash park just because we couldn't get enough water fun. Did I mention that we turn to fish during the summer?

 After an exhausting Saturday working on our tan lines, we decided on a serene Sunday. It was the surprise one for me. On my best friend's suggestion, I decided to check out the Minneapolis Institute of Art or MIA, for short. There are tons of pay parking lots, but if you're lucky like me, you'll just nab a spot across the street.  I'm not really a big art lover, and I don't think I have the sophistication to truly appreciate it at the level that some of my friends do... However, this was just an enjoyable trip to the art museum, seeing paintings and sculptures with my 3-year old's eyes.  She was very patient, and feasted on the artworks, commenting "They're so beautiful! Everything is beautiful!!" It was such a delight looking at our colorful arts, pretty flowers, paintings of sisters. Forget the Olympics commentaries! There are far too exciting arts to comment on here - we commented on missing limbs, goodness - missing heads! a big dog sculpture, chair made of horns, and snickered at exposed tushies.  See? No pretenses here. My 3 year-old was the best companion.  

Truth be told, I also realized how much more of a sculpture person I am than paintings-admirer. In spite of being an art novice, I've been fortunate to have visited a few reknowned art museums - the National Portrait Gallery, the Guggenheim, the Louvre, and Musee d'Orsay, thanks to my husband who has the better understanding and appreciation for them.  And in all these visits, I've gravitated to the delicate sculptures.  The veiled lady by Raffaelo Monti at the MIA, for instance - I couldn't take my eyes off of it. I want to try to decipher what she's feeling; why was she veiled? But Maya had other things to check out, so I followed her lead. 

As far as painting goes, I do feel that I just don't have the mind to decode abstract paintings... unless my children drew them. And as beautiful as Monet's works are to most, I just find them - meh. (Ooops!) And don't ask me about Degas or Cezanne. However, I did find that romanticism and realism are the paintings that I'm attracted to the most. Quite opposite on the art spectrum, I know.  I also know that I'm simply not impressed with impressionism. But one painting I have never even heard of until my best friend mentioned his work was Corot. I was really taken by his art, The Reader.  There's a solemn expression on her face as she reads so intently while she walks.

Nina Katchadourian

 The MIA also had an exhibit called Beyond the Selfie: Portraits in the 21st Century. I found it refreshing, and slightly cheeky. It did feature the gone-viral "Lavatory Self Portraits" of  Nina Katchadourian.

Now I'm really going to show my art naivete here. I had no idea Pablo Picasso also did sculptures!! I was so surprised to see his whimsical bronze sculpture Baboon and Young.
It reminded me of Madonna and son, although unexpectedly whimsical, and from Pablo Picasso! We just had to do our own version of baboon and young. Ha!

After our eyes have fully feasted on colors, camels, and Cassatt, we decided to do the museum's scavenger hunt "Art-lympics" where the kids had to search for paintings related to sports in the Olympics. It was a cinch for little Maya. She got a medal for her achievement, but I think we both came out as big winners today!  

I leave you with some more notable 3-dimensional arts that caught our eyes:

"OOOH, That's SHINY!!!"
"Whuuut? Where's his legs, mommy?"
"Maya, if you squint, that chair is smiling at you!"
That's all folks!

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