The other day I was just wandering around New York when I came upon the Guggenheim Museum (which I like to call “The Gugg,” pronounced “goog”) and decided to head on inside and check out the Maurizio Cattelan exhibit I’ve been dying to see since I heard it existed. Cattelan is an artist who works mainly in sculpture, making totally weird, exciting, and disturbing pieces ranging from stuffed dogs to naked ladies popping out of the wall. His show at the Gugg was a huge retrospective and, like, kind of a big deal (meaning there were 5 million people there to see it). I am a huge fan of the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed building which houses the Gugg, but I’ve seen so many dull exhibits there that I was excited to see something to fresh on display.
I went in the afternoon, just as the golden sunset cast pretty shadows all over the exterior of the beautiful building.
All the installation shots I took look totally overwhelming and crazy. The reason is that the exhibit itself was chaotic and insane. The huge hanging collection of sculptures (rising through the entirety of the museum’s central atrium) was so full that it was difficult to concentrate on any one piece for too long. This was sort of the point I guess, as the collective sculptures became one huge installation piece. The visual cacophony was only exacerbated by the fact that the Gugg (and every other New York museum) is always overcrowded with visitors, screeching in their high-pitched tourist voices. I know it sounds like I’m complaining, but actually I think this added to the piece, making it even more chaotic and overwhelming.
Here are few of Cattelan’s previous works, all of which were incorporated into the piece at the Gugg.
That evening, I was staying with my friends Misako and Doug on the Upper West Side. Misako and I walked home from the museum through Central Park. It’s a pretty spectacular park, and the quiet sunset was the perfect comedown from the crazy (and wonderful) Cattelan exhibit.