American Art

You’re a revolutionary. A real little shit disturber and the kind of critic those modernists were after:

The thing I liked about Graham was that he was a gentleman. A free man, unburdened by children for his New York museum visits and yet he burdened himself with ours.

One of the best things about traveling is that you make friends with people you probably wouldn’t have if you’d stayed in your hometown, or not in the same way. Something about experiencing uncomfortable things together makes you family.

Also from Vancouver and also in New York for the summer we spent hours with Graham checking out the city. Including the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Like the MoMA, the Guggenheim and others, the Whitney generously offers free admission to the public for a few hours once a week. The queues appear intimidating until you realize New York knows how to move them.

A line that did a square block around the MoMA took 15 minutes to clear. It was not long enough for me to decide whether or not the guy in front of us (white, well dressed, in his twenties) was actually enjoying the classical tracks he was playing on his small ghetto blaster. His face showed no expression, like he was preparing himself for the three panels of white that awaited him inside. For the record I quite liked that piece.


To prove all the clichés about young kids in museums wrong (yeah even the ones that are supposed to be designed for them) we took our four-month-old and three-year-old to all of them. Little T liked the helicopter at the MoMA, James Turrell’s light installation (or the “red room”) at the Guggenheim and the ginger biscuits at the Whitney. As the biscuits fell outside of the exhibitions in the café downstairs she instead proved the clichés right.

Her dad spent most of the two hours we were allowed in there on the stairwell landing of each floor, where she left trails of crumbs on the obsidian black floor.

Under threat of “last chance”, (to do what exactly? leave, as hoped?) she was allowed to rejoin cultured society on Edward Hopper’s floor. As luck would have it they were just in time to join a guided tour led by one of the curators. Little T stood quietly, as agreed, in front of the painter’s revered Nighthawks; the masterpiece everyone awaited news on. Hands on hips in her little green dress she waited for a moment of silence. “This painting is fuckit,” she said.