On the way home from Brooklyn my daughter, son and I were sidetracked in the lower east side of Manhattan by our favorite doughnut shop (it’s worth crawling to if necessary: Doughnut Plant). Feeling highly satiated, churros in hand, we decided to walk over to The New Museum on the Bowery. It’s a snazzy new building that appeared suddenly in that expeditious New York kind of way after we moved (all of my place marks so quickly get swallowed up by new store fronts, it unmoors me causing in-numerous “wait, where are we?” moments).
As the three of us are all regrettably underemployed students we were put off by the entrance fee, even with the student IDs it would have cost us all 30$ to go in. We hesitated. It was too much of a leap into the unknown for our wallets to support. Instead we perused the very gorgeous catalogue that someone else’s dollars would have to pay for so that we could get an idea of what sort of art was on display. That is the tricky thing with collections of new art, they lack the decades that conveniently separate the wheat from the chaff. We then took advantage of the bathrooms (always an issue in the city). There was also, of course, a gift shop that we spent a good amount of time in. There were a lot of art books representing all the “new” art of the sort the museum housed. Some of it was very good. A lot of it irreverent and highly stylized, I had perhaps more patience for it than my extremely talented artist daughter who is endowed with a highly sensitive bullshit-o-meter.
Strumming through a book of (mostly) photographs I laughed at the images of a young man traipsing through a field in the buff. I picked up another book and had a moment of déjà vu, I turned the book over to confirm that I was indeed looking at a different book, different artist and yet I swear it was the same leaping fellow with swinging body parts. A few books later there was another similar image, okay maybe it was…the cousin of the fellow, leaping at the…beach, but really I felt like I had been transported back to the early 70’s only it was a cleaner, more monogynous and organic granola version.
Maybe it is just the environmentally conscious youth of today: well trained to recycle everything. Music, fashion, art: it does seem to be in a particularly unoriginal state of late. Or maybe the preponderance of young free loving naked men is just some sort of reaction or balancing measure to all of the thousands and thousands of images of the female figure that have ever been made.Well…right on then. Equal rights after all people!