Jean Paul Gaultier // The Brooklyn Museum

The magnificent Jean Paul Gaultier show at the Brooklyn Museum ended with a swarming salute from the last round of art-lovers and fashion queens, who filled the lavishly adorned + spectacularly curated 5th floor gallery space last Sunday. Upon entering into the gallery, I the first thing I realized was that cameras were allowed in. Not only was it fine to take pictures, those who simply chose to view the work sans momento seemed out of place, as if they were missing out on some powerful, nearly-necessary (only no one remembered why) form of adoration or just plain popular cell stimulation. My phone was powered off, but the energy of all the other admirer’s eventually overpowered my initial minimalist attitude, and I began snapping pictures of my lush surroundings. Then came the collective part of the experience: due to the thickness of the crowds and the fact that everyone but I knew that this was their last chance to see the work up close —I stumbled upon the exhibit after coming to see the work of the brilliant, earth goddess multi-media artist Wengechi Mutu— I basically had to squeeze my way through packs of enchanted “loiterers” (anyone standing before a piece for more than an in-out breath- -exchange three photo clicks). When I couldn’t, I was quietly fighting to get a shot that didn’t have someone else’s arm/iphone in the frame. There I had it. The art and the experience of the art was as divisional as it was claustrophobic, combined the hostility could have sunken the pleasure or be holding such skillfully crafted and curated works of art, but thankfully it did not. I’ll get to the brilliance in a separate piece. The photos above are both ironic (as per my story) and telling about how we see art in this era, especially when we are busy, late, struck with admiration, or just plain proud to be seeing what’s before our eyes…they just aren’t as good as the lens in our palm.

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