Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Can't See the Picasso for the Pigeons

I don't mean to keep pushing the subject of Chicago on you, but I maybe have one more post in me.

Here's some things you should know:

I'm by no means an art expert, but I love art. Looking at it. Reading about it. Creating it (with my camera, not so much with my hands). I am in love with the creative process, the vulnerability of the artist to put their work on display, and the stories behind it.

So when we were preparing to go to Chicago, I was really hoping we could go to the Art Institute. And technically, we did- but only to pass through the building en route to somewhere else. I told myself I'd downplay how much I wanted to go, so we didn't end up making it a top priority- since I knew Jim wouldn't be as much in love with the experience as me- though he'd be a good sport about it. I figured, if we were near it, and it seemed like a good idea, we'd do it. Or not. And though I personally am in love with the idea of getting a chance to stand just feet away from the true, original work of an artist, to see the art they actually created and touched, and not just a print or reproduced picture of it (I'm a bit of a dork) and I knew for a fact there was a Georgia O'Keefe right there in the building, and a whole new Matisse exhibit- we just passed through. And I didn't regret it. Because it wasn't a good time.

But still. Would've been nice for it to be a good time.

But we had good times elsewhere, no regrets.

But still. Would've been nice. To be so close to original pieces of world-famous art.

Fast forward to the next day.

It was a beautiful, brisk day. Post-Anthropologie, we headed to the nearest Walgreens for some ibuprofen for my shins, which were hurting for the concrete jungle we'd been exploring for miles, and a little snack that would masquerade as lunch, because neither of us was that hungry. We took our trail mix and drinks to a nearby plaza that looked like a great place to sit and do nothing in- and bonus, because it's in the business loop and it was a Saturday, it was barren of people, which was nice. We sat down, and we noticed a cute little pigeon.

I'm a sucker for birds. And feeding them. Love it.

So I threw it a raisin.

.03 seconds later, there were 30 pigeons in want of raisins, out of thin air.

So for about the next half hour or longer, we sat and enjoyed the quiet plaza, and the fine pigeons of Chicago. Both of us remember it as a highlight. We're simple people.

On our way out, we remarked on the ginormous statue we'd been sitting beneath. For about 2 seconds. I said something like, "Hey, check out that statue." and Jim was all, "I think it's a baboon." End of story.

Back at home, I had a hunch that the pigeon plaza was in this movie that we love so much. A quick check revealed that yes, I was indeed right. Oh, and wait. There's more.... Check out my pictures...

Yes. The baboon afterthought 50 foot thing was a freaking Picasso.
The irony.
Here I was quietly wanting for an up-close look at some original art, and all that time, I was sitting under a huge piece of it and didn't know. And didn't care.
Because we were too busy enjoying the morning, the snack, and, the pigeons.


Molly Betsy @ Star Cottage said...

I am no great artist but I do love art and art history it was my major in college along with psych. So I an understand the dissapointment. This was a great post. I needed to read this tonight. Loved the pigeons especially the first photo. And the picasso baboon that's funny an yes very ironic.

Ashley said...

I have to admit -- everything about this post made my morning. (And yes, today I am commenting from work ... I should get back to that now!)

Ashley said...

I have to admit -- everything about this post made my morning. (And yes, today I am commenting from work ... I should get back to that now!)

Colleen said...

I loved this post. Sometimes I forget to look around and see the details. But sometimes living in the here and now is good too.

Joe said...

A) you are brave with the pigeons...and the fact you are feeding them, yikes! I'm always freaked out they will fly at my face. The pigeons and I keep our distance. The fact that you labeled them in your photo--hilarious! ;)

B) I think it's funny you were sitting underneath one of Chicago's tallest public art sculptures! haha. It's a baboon, it's a bird, it's a woman--all of those things and none of them. Glad you found one of the Loop treasures...albeit from SD.

anne said...

Love this post.
It's a great story. It's awesome.

Made me think of Mary Poppins.
So, thank you.