Banksy said art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable. Well I must have been comfortable prior to my trip to the Guggenheim cause I left there moved and slightly disturbed. There were some very profound and moving pieces which were lovely to look at, reflect on and enjoy by the obvious greats, Picasso, Monet, Kandinsky, but one showcasing in particular I found if anything striking, discomforting and profound probably cause it reflected issues rather pertinent to me presently and that showcasing was the various pieces by Rineke Dijkstra whose work centers around identity, humanity and emotion. She is very much interested in the manner in which people present themselves. Her works, portraits all of them, were haunting depictions of struggle not staged or epic but minor everyday struggles, mothers, sons, daughters, normal everyday people living their normal everyday lives, faced with the mishaps and challenges we all face, or will face at some point; from parenthood, to employment, coming of age, cultivation of self versus the world, her works tell it all Rineke I feel does a better job at capturing the human condition than her peer Cindy Sherman (showcased at MoMA) who attempts to capture the same realities as Dijkstra but who stages her scenes, and uses only herself as a subject, creating an overwhelming sense of monotony and affect, that dampen the effect of her work. I appreciate the Guggenheim due to its small size, one isn’t overwhelmed by the artistic brilliance (or by its absence, some of the work in MoMA is just suspect) you can explore without feeling the need to rush and so you are able to form bonds with the art and let it influence and inspire you.
This post is posted on Saturday 14 July 2012.