Monday, September 1, 2008

Chihuly at the de Young Museum

Yesterday April managed to drag me to the de Young to view the glass works of Dave Chihuly. I was less than enthused to go see glass works that I have seen throughout the web. The pictures I saw were not very thrilling so I was unable to fully comprehend the mass excitement that has buzzed about this exhibit. But, I did go for two other reasons. The first reason was the chance to hang out with my bud April and the second was of course to get out and take pictures. Those two reason alone would motivate me to get out of the house no matter what the photo subject was.

Once we arrived to the Museum, and we were early, the line had already formed into 50 people deep. Let me also mention that there were two separate entrances and both had long lines accumulating. So if you know me just a little, will know that I was already feeling grumpy. I dislike lines and I really dislike crowds. I always feel a slightly claustrophobic when I am in the midst of a crowd especially when they are all trying to get to the same place I am trying to go. I am guessing I would not fair well in places like Japan's subway :-) .

Once we past the entrance, our camera bags were checked for who knows what and it was explained rather bluntly that we could not carry our bags on our shoulders but rather we had to carry them below our waist. Another sign that we are about to go into a very crowded place and all the reason to further validate my grumpiness. Instead of trying to carry our backpacks, we checked them in and just took out what we thought we needed. As lazy as I am, I only grabbed my camera body and a wide angle lens. April was a little more motivated to prepare for the unknown by bringing three lenses stuffing two of them in her pants pockets.

After we were filed orderly in a single line into the exhibit, I fully understood what the hoopla was all about. I also understood why the pictures were less than impressive than what was now right in front of me. If you have never seen Chihuly's work in person, you have never seen Chihuly's work because pictures could never do it proper justice. The glass art was incredibly beautiful with absolutely stunning colors, textures and patterns. I was humbled and reminded not to judge ones art until I see it in person. Chihuly's glass works were truly a sight that must be seen.

The following pictures was a humble attempt to show how I viewed Chihuly's work and an attempt to share it with those that are unable to see his art in person. I realize this is an ironic deed since I just said no one could properly show Chihuly's work through pictures but I had to try ;-)

The first exhibit we were introduced to was named the Glass Forest. The tubes were at least 8 feet tall and this room was around 30 feet wide. The display was put on a highly reflective black surface to give the display a tremendous amount of depth. It was very cool to witness and I felt all my former grumpiness shed away to be replaced with amazement and awe.

I call it "cat in the reeds" but this exhibit was simply named "Reeds". I used a couple of the lights that lit up the exhibit in my composition since they reminded me of a cat hiding in the reeds waiting for its prey.

This is just one of the outlandish chandeliers that were hung in the exhibit. There were at least a dozen or more of these huge chandeliers ranging from 4ft x 4ft as seen below to ones that were 6ft x 10ft.

In the exhibit named black, one wall is covered with tiles of different patterns. I am not sure what materials were used to make these tiles but it looked like non-opaque colored glass dripped onto a metal sheet.

This bowl piece is an example of what was displayed in the Black exhibit

These bowls were huge. Probably a good 2 feet across the top lips. They were part of the exhibit named Macchia Forest

In the Tabac Exhibit was a mixture of glass works with woven baskets.

I thought it looked like a purple star with stars in the background (display lights). The following pieces were part of the Ikebana and Venetian Exhibit.

This wall display covered an entire wall and was part of the Persian Exhibit

April using her Fish-eye lens to capture the Persian wall display.

At the end of the Exhibit, we walked through a room where the ceiling had a collage of pieces called sea shells laying on top of clear glass ceiling panels. Quite a site.

Part of the Persian ceiling reflecting onto one of the side walls.

April captured me taking the above shot. She is so sneaky.

While I was trying to cool off with my ice tea after exiting the museum, I snapped a quick photo of April. Thank you April for a great day and putting up with me. Once again, you have shown me that even I can enjoy a crowded event if the subject matter is special :-)

I hope everyone felt a little taste of Chihuly's work. If you ever have a chance to witness his art in person, please make the effort. I promise you, you will not be disappointed.

I am going to leave you now with a couple pictures that April took of me in the Botanical Gardens in Golden Gate Park. :D


Dana said...

Well written article.

Daniel Thorp said...

Thank you, that is a wonderful comment to receive.