Our spring trip to Europe was all about renewing our inspirations and dipping our brains and toes in some of the best art museums (according to us).
Our Journey began in Stockholm, Sweden, although it not the best place to acclimate to the 8 hour time change. The sun was rising around 3:30 A.M. and setting around 10 P.M. As we quickly learned, Stockholm had nearly 18 hours of daylight per day! Insert jet-lag nightmare here.
You may have heard of the Moderna Museet back in 1993 when eight works by Picasso and Georges Braque, the French cubist, valued at some $60 million, were stolen.
Responsible for housing one of Europe's finest collections of modern and contemporary art, the Moderna Museet was certainly one of the highlights of our trip to Europe this spring. They had over 35 pieces of Duchamp's alone in their permanent collection!
After Stockholm we spent some time in Amsterdam. There we visited several museums, amongst them the Van Gogh Museum, which merited almost an entire day. Lost in Van Gogh's brush strokes you're transported to another time. You are there in his studio witnessing his latest painting, dabbing the finishing touches with a stroke so famous and so unique. Tragically, like many creative geniuses, Van Gogh ended his own life, two gunshot wounds to the chest, taking his last breaths in his brother Theo's arms. One can bear witness to their strong relationships in the hundreds of letters they exchanged while they were apart, The letters chronicle Vincent's life like an autobiography. All art has the potential to be powerful and create strong and even unfamiliar reactions inside us, but in particular I think we had the strongest "aha' moments at the Van Gogh Museum.
To mix feelings up further, the temporary exhibit at the Van Gogh was 'Easy Virtue' depicting prostitution in French Art from 1850 to 1910. The exhibit examined how the theme of prostitution was dealt with by over 40 different artists. It included rare private and public collection works by Van Gogh himself, Degas, Toulouse-Lautrec and Picasso among others. A fitting and interesting introduction to Amsterdam and the Red Light District.
In Amsterdam we also visited the Stedelijk, and the Moco Museum (which was exclusively featuring works by Banksy and Warhol).
In Paris, we never miss the Louvre but this time we also visited the Georges Pompidou Center to see the Paul Klees exhibit as well as Espace Dali to see a great collection of Salvador Dali's work.
Finally, in London we went to the Tate Modern. Interestingly, a whole section of the Tate was being prepared for a major Georgia O'Keeffe exhibit. This was of course an interesting fact to us Santa Feans.
When we've arrived some place, especially if it's new (to us) or we've traveled long distances, I always ask myself "Why am I here? Why have we devoted our time and resources to be here, visiting this place?'" We don't love jet-lag, unfamiliar beds, and the lack of direction, plus we miss our cat. So, why?
The question lingers throughout the journey and every time we do it, I feel myself getting closer to... asking a better question. Always approaching but never arriving. Cliche as it sounds, it's truly the moments in between that feed our wanderlust. It's a discovery of ourselves in a new city, speaking a different language, engaging in different contexts.
It's a step back and a step closer. It's watching the man religiously feeding the pigeons, it's figuring out if finding the entrance to the gallery at the Tate Modern is an exhibit in itself, it's realizing yourself in the escalator "tube" at the Pompidou. It's watching the watcher and enjoying children chasing bubbles in a busy square. It's taking a quiet ferry and time to stroll through the Tulleries not knowing where you're going.
It's the loss of familiarity and the acceptance of being in those moments, that make us more prepared to return home again.
One Minute of Moments
I put this video together to acknowledge those random yet substantial moments in an attempt to linger in that time, but also explore the origin of that wanderlust and curiosity. I'm still working on articulating it.
We could be any of these characters. You could be the man with the birds, the lovers, the crowds or the tour group. I could be you. You could be me.
Music is "We Move Lightly" by Dustin O'Halloran.
Sharing our creative efforts, work and travel.