Monday, March 19, 2012

Seeing Green {Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City}

Lately when I've gone to the MET I've gone with a specific photography assignment in mind. My most recent jaunt to the MET happened to be St. Patrick's Day.  So my assignment? What else: GREEN.

I followed the trail of green through one of my most fascinating solo tours of the MET yet.   It was absolutely fascinating to be drawn to and engaged by works I rarely take note of, and to see familiar works of art in a whole new light.

After only a few minutes of looking for green, I starting seeing things.  Seeing green.  Green undertones, green sunsets, green noses, and even a subtle green amidst an otherwise primary-colored Mondrian.   Then it was easy, and I couldn't help but see green everywhere.  Seeing green even made me not loathe El Greco for a minute or two. A miracle, indeed.  I was able to get up close and appreciate his use of color, and beautiful, painterly brushstrokes.

I noticed patterns, textures, brushstrokes, gestures, details, relationships, foliage, and backgrounds in a whole new way. 

One of the most fascinating aspects of this study was seeing the color trends that were prevalent during different time periods in art history.  You'll see it below too. 

Seeing green even drew my eye to my favorite portrait of the evening- a little girl whose parents were too involved in their MET map to notice her mischief.  

My exit route was through the Greek/Roman galleries, where I thought I'd see little green.  And I was right and wrong.  Wrong because there was quite a bit of gorgeous green glass and beautiful green hues in some ancient fresco panels, and I was also right because there was little green.  And the green that survives on metal surfaces is the result of centuries of oxidation.  It was never intended to be green, but ageing has made it so, and objects that once shone with a shiny brass finish, now have a lovely green patina of age.  And I like it better that way.   It must be my education speaking, but I love the authenticity of objects that reflect their true age. Even if the aesthetic doesn't appeal to the masses.

I can't wait to do another color. Any requests?




 See the green? 










See the green?

  The same little girl in green from the fountain


1 comment:

Kiersten said...

I love this post--what a fun idea! Also, I like El Greco most of the time--mannerism seems to have grown on me lately, but I think there was a time I wasn't such a fan either.