The New Whitney Museum is open, and amaaaaaaaazing (Oprah voice emphasis) ! I swore I wouldn’t visit for the first month, because- crowds, ugggh. But, I broke that promise to myself and took a bit out of an afternoon to wander through the exhibit America is Hard to See. The premise of viewing America through the Whitney’s permanent collection seemed daunting and migraine inducing at first. I entered all like “Error: CANNOT COMPUTE.” But as I strolled through the floors, the myriad of connections that make up the nation began to seem natural.
Of course it didn’t take me long to find the first piece I wanted to pose with. Richmond Barthes’ “African Dancer” was near the start of the exhibit and was poise and grace and all that jazz in plaster sculpture form. According to the didactic this piece was most likely inspired by this bomb Langston Hughes poem, “Danse Africaine.”
The low beating of the tom-toms, The slow beating of the tom-toms, Low…slow Slow…low— Stirs your blood. Dance! A night-veiled girl Whirls softly into a Circle of light. Whirls softly…slowly, Like a wisp of smoke around the fire— And the tom-toms beat, And the tom-toms beat, And the low beating of the tom-toms Stirs your blood.
All of this got me to thinking about other images of dance that have stuck with me through the years.
In sculpture there’s another famous tiny dancer by Degas. He’s also known for his paintings of dancers by color.
In contemporary art we can recall the Ernie Barnes of Good Times fame. Those Keith Haring figures seem to get down as well.
If you look, you will encounter some pretty cool art wherever you go. But it’s likely you will have to experience some awful uninventive dentist office art as well. You know, the dead uninspired water color prints you encounter in your dentist office, municipal building lobby, and until now hotels? Well travelers, your weary eyes will no longer have to embrace the dreary.
The Wall Street Journal reported last week that you can now sleep with Jeff Koons, (and not end up in a Italian adult “art” film.) They list a few hotels that have upped their collections and documented the trend. The best is obviously the Dolder Grand in Zurich where you can do the running man or stanky leg with a Keith Haring sculpture.
Keith Haring, Untitled. PHOTO: DOLDER HOTEL AG
Fodors Travel obviously picked up on this article and re-sent their October 2013 piece “13 Hotels with Stunning Art Collections” to their email subscribers (note, I never subscribed but I started getting these last month). So if the Wall Street Journal makes Zurich look like fun, Fodors put the spotlight on The Four Seasons in Toronto where you can dine with Bob Marley over Campbell’s Soup. Honestly, all 13 hotels look pretty amazing.
Photo Credit: Christian Horan/Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts
So before you book your next trip, make sure to practice your stanky leg routine. It will come in handy for posing in the courtyard of your luxury hotel!