April 4th, 2009

piranha - No!

Thursday was busy, what with the art and the dance.

On Thursday Jeannie and I went up to San Francisco to see the Yves Saint Laurent and Andy Warhol exhibits at the De Young Museum. It was my first time at the De Young, but given its focus on art of Africa, Oceania, and Mesoamerica that's not much of a surprise. I generally don't much care for "primitive" art (politically incorrect to refer to it that way, I'm sure) and I haven't studied it extensively. But the De Young does also have an extensive collection of American art, so that must be how YSL and Andy Warhol ended up in their galleries. They also get Tutankhamun in June, which I guess is a space decision since the Legion of Honor is smaller. Anyway. We didn't take the time to explore the permanent collection, save for a few rooms of the Jolika Collection (New Guinea sculpture) and American art that happened to be on the way to see YSL.

YSL was really cool. None of the clothes were behind any sort of glass, so resisting the urge to touch a sleeve or run delicate fabrics through your fingers was REALLY hard. If a guard was not conveniently stationed every ten feet I probably would have reached out to feel how heavy the earrings a mannequin was wearing, or to finger the tassels on a matador's outfit. If nothing else, the YSL exhibit showed me that I really need to become a museum curator so I can have an excuse to touch these famous frocks. Anyway, the clothes covered the full length of his career as a designer, from the famous Mondrian dresses in the 60s to the floral bridal gown from Spring 1999. (Images can be seen here. We tried to take photos, but got busted by the guards. They're strict at the De Young!) Really neat.

Andy Warhol exhibit = meh. I mean, I like the guy and I've enjoyed his work. Those block-color celebrity portraits are interesting enough when you happen to see a Marilyn Monroe on someone's purse or Mick Jagger on a wall. But when they're all lined up and you suddenly see twenty faces all at once, colored in the same way...it just gets boring. (I suppose it doesn't help that anyone can achieve that effect with Photoshop filters in a few minutes.) I was a bit disappointed that none of his early fashion illustrations were included, but I guess they didn't really match the theme of the exhibition. Oh well. There was also a room that tried to recreate the 'Exploding Plastic Inevitable' experience, but kids were making out in there. Ew. (Warhol might approve, though.)

That evening, after Jeannie had left to sell a couch, I went downtown to see Ballet San Jose's A Midsummer Night's Dream, which was just beautiful. Shakespeare's play has a nonsensical plot that translates very well to ballet, although if the watcher isn't familiar with the play I imagine it's just a swirl of confusion trying to make sense of it all. But ballet is about dancing, and that can be appreciated whatever your understanding of the plot.
I tried to find some photos from this production so I could show off the amazing costume of Oberon, but of course there isn't one to be found. Oh well. If you're bored this weekend, go check it out. Very pretty, very lush, very fun.