Seeing Things (7): Looking, Watching, and Listening

Kota Ezawa's LYAM 3D, 2008

A walk through the museum the other day in honor of one year ending and the new year beginning, was a feast for the eyes...and ears. It's not just getting up close to a painting that can be rewarding, it's also hearing what other people say to each other when looking. Love, hate, indifference...I've heard them all. Crowds queued for the last days of the Norman Rockwell exhibition, and many people came to see Alexis Rockman's vivid paintings on the third floor that offered a kind of counterpoint to the Rockwellian themes. Rockman's apocolyptic take on the world drew a lot of oohs and aahs from people. In the exhibition comment book, people responded with "cool," "wild," "great." One person drew a picture of somebody looking at a painting with the caption, "Art is inspiring."

What will inspire you this year? Outside the Rockman exhibition, in Watch This: New Directions in the Art of the Moving Image, recent acquisitions of video art, a group of children wearing 3-D glasses were delighting in Kota Ezawa's digital animation, LYAM 3D. I put on a pair and saw what all the fuss was about. Art, like people, comes in all shapes and sizes. All you have to do is keep your eyes wide open to see. Oh, and don’t forget to listen.