Saturday, July 19, 2008

Art excursion

About a month ago, we were on BART and Lucas pointed to a poster and said, "That's Frida Kahlo! She's a great artist. She was married to Diego Rivera." His class studied art for more than a month and he was really into it. He has a special notebook of all his "still life sketches" and would tell me about paintings he saw in class from famous artists like Monet and Picasso.When my friend Jeanne had her baby boy, Jackson, Lucas said, "I know two boys named Jackson. And there's also Jackson Pollock, the artist."

So I planned a trip to SFMOMA, especially to see the Frida Kahlo exhibit. We took BART into SF and dined on peanut butter sandwiches outside of the museum. As Lucas said to me, "We're going art-ing."

On BART, Lucas asked me all sorts of questions about the actual museum - what it looks like from the outside, how tall it would be, and what it looks like on the inside. Lucas was not very impressed by the outside of the museum. He thought it would be tall and colorful and have artwork on it. When I asked what he thought, he said, "It's just brown."

Once we entered the museum, Lucas was very impressed with the lobby. According to him, "It's so colorful. It's crazy!"Lucas wanted to see paintings by artists he knew. We had about an hour and a half to kill before our reservation to see the Frida Kahlo exhibit, so we meandered through each floor looking at art, especially by artists he recognized.

It was fun to see what Lucas was drawn to, mostly really beautiful, colorful pieces, like these.He especially wanted to know the names of different pieces that he saw. Sometimes I would ask him why the artist named it what he did. I pointed out this one by Jackson Pollock, "Guardians of the Secret". According to Lucas, "Jackson Pollock had a really big secret. He painted it on this, then covered it up with all these colors and things, so no one would know his secret." I asked him if he had any ideas what the big secret is. Lucas' responded with, "Jackson Pollock was so good at painting and he put so many colors on this. No one will ever know his secret, but it's probably a really good secret."We looked at this painting by Diego Rivera. Lucas said, "That girl is kind of creepy looking."
Finally it was our turn to go to the Kahlo exhibit. Even with the timed-ticket system, it was super crowded in there. It was a little overwhelming - the crowds, combined with the fact that we had already been there for an hour and a half. So we cruised in and out of rooms (they wouldn't allow pictures to be taken in there) fairly quickly.

I asked him what he thought about Frida, and he said, "She liked to paint a lot of pictures of herself. And she liked to paint animals too."

We went in to see this surreal mixed media and video installation by Alexander Hahn and Yves Netzhammer, which is where we were just prior to going in to see Frida. The video was some computer animation, showing drops of water, primates, and faceless people. It was a little creepy to me, but I think Lucas liked being able to sit finally, on the floor, in that dark and quiet room for a change of pace.

On the way home, we stopped at Specialty's for one of their fabulous chocolate chip cookies. I split the cookie in half and offered him to choose which half he wanted. He started arguing with me that I always get to split the cookies. I told him I was letting him choose which half he wanted and tried to explain to him that it was a better deal this way, since whoever doesn't split it always has the first choice. But he was being overly stubborn about it, and forfeited his right to any of the cookie (lucky me!).

But once we got outside and started walking back to the BART station, he was all smiles again. I asked him what his favorite part of the day was. He said, "Looking at all the beautiful artwork and going in the elevator."

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