Saturday, March 10, 2012

Sam I Am

On my recent trip to Seattle I had the great pleasure of visiting the Seattle Art Museum, fondly referred to as SAM. 

I guess some art afficianados view gallery-going as an equivalent to getting hammered.  I don't know why else the gallery would have chosen this sculpture to be its iconic representative.

Parking is often an issue in downtown areas, but artists are always innovative when it comes to finding solutions.  The painter, Emily Carr, used to suspend her chairs from the ceiling by ropes when they were not in use, so why not hang up visitors' cars?

Touring extensive galleries is an exhausting undertaking.  Here we see a group of foreign visitors sitting down for a rest while the more conservative look on with some envy at their free spiritedness,

although a few among them got downright prickly about the situation, visibly bristling at the effrontery.

[Glass sculpture by William Morris (no not that William Morris!)]
  Still others, I was slightly alarmed to discover, lost themselves hopelessly while wandering the galleries, never to emerge again into the light of day.  In fact, I am still groping my way optimistically towards the exit (through the gift shop) which is why I have been absent from blogging for so many days.  Thankfully, I came across a wifi area so was able to get this communiqué out to you.  I'll be back soon with more captures from the art front.


  1. I loved this gallery when I visited it last Easter on my train trip down the West Coast - they had the full on Nick Cave suits exhibition which I found to be a stunning exhibition.....Greetings from the Riviera

  2. Must be a communist behind the hammer sculpture ? Didn't McCarthy put them all away all those years ago ? And where there are communists there are usually piles of skulls somewhere in the closet, so this is looking murkier and murkier... :-)

    (just finished reading James Michener's book "The Bridge at Andau" about the situation in Hungary in 1956 and the exodus of 200000 refugees as a result, this could explain why communists and their skeletons in the closet came to mind)

    Hope after the gift shop you were able to find the café, for you must have been thirsty after all that... bottoms up !

    Strange skulls, btw, I'm almost tempted to wonder if they were siamese twins, seem to be joined ?

  3. :) That SAM is quite a place! So glad you didn't morph into a prickly person, a skeleton, or pillar of salt, and I do hope you manage to find your way out sometime soon. But at least they have wifi so you can send us more "notes from the underground."

  4. Thank you for this great comment upon art, both in iamges and words.

    Please have you all a wonderful Sunday.

  5. A delight as always! :) I love the prickly people! :) Maybe because I've had a lot of practice...

  6. Wonderful gallery! You must be careful not to stand still for too long or you may be mistaken for some treasure of some sort!!
    (naughty little sis will now slink away quietly....)

  7. You're a hoot. You should be their curator.

    So do you figure that was .. Emily's Carr? ;)

  8. ahhh. love these darling skulls.. and your connection to galleries and getting hammered.. cute!! haven't gone to a gallery opening in years..

  9. i wish i could go there! thanks for sharing! love the skulls especially, of course!

  10. Catherine,
    Lucky you to have experienced the full-on Nick Cave exhibit! I've only seen pix and videos of it. The SAM is fun in its diversity, though rather confusing in its layout. I was glad to have my own personal guide "whip" me around to things she knew would be of particular interest to me.

    Not quite out of the yet.

    Oh brother of the cheery dispostion. Do you frequent gravesites, linger over skull imagery, and read historical accounts of war and persecution to assure yourself that things could be a lot worse in your life? Just as there is reverse psychology, perhaps there exists reverse well-being?
    The glass skulls shown do seem to be conjoined, but as they are a work of art rather than an archeological find or a medical study, I really can't provide an answer to your wondering. Perhaps they are symbolic of lovers being joined as one, in the temporal--both in terms of time and lobes.
    As for finding the gallery cafe, we went on the cheap and ate a boxed lunch from home, ignoring all the jealous glances from passers-by (unless they were looks of outrage?)

    Notes from the underground coming soon! First, of course, I must fondle everything in the gift shop.

    Thank you for taking the time to traipse around the gallery with me and listen to my spiel!

    Mystic Meandering,
    I'm quite certain that you are referring to your having had to deal with prickly people rather being one yourself. I guess the trick is to learn to bend all those prickles back onto themselves to form loops, thus turning the prickly person into a loopy one--who certainly provides his/her own challenges to deal with. Don't ask me how I know!

    I feel pretty sure that you're suggesting I look like a precious work of art...something like the Venus de Milo with arms?

    I had an uncomfortable feeling when I put "car" with Emily Carr...but I didn't know quite why. Now I do! I may be a hoot, but you are cunning with your punning (the effect is often stunning).

    Oh, gallery openings, other than the wine and cheese part, are the worst! Can't get near the art and have to make small talk with folks you don't see for years at a time. Or worse, think of something positive to say to the proud artist who's work you think looks like mud. Sometimes, though, they can be fun...after enough visits to the wine table.

    I'm sure you would love this museum and find so many images to incorporate into your digital compositions. It's cool that photography is openly encouraged for almost all the exhibits at the SAM.

  11. The prickly people are particularly good. I find the little skulls oddly scary though, perhaps because they don't look like replicas of human skulls somehow. Aliens' skulls? :)

  12. Jenny Woolf,
    I must confess to a bit of Photoshop tampering with the skulls so perhaps that's why they look particularly alien. They've got a bit of an ET glow on.

  13. Thank you for this exquisite and witty tour! ;-)

  14. Merisi,
    Glad you enjoyed my commentary. I will pass the hat at the end of the tour.

  15. Louciao, your witty sense of humor is delightful! I loved the "foreign visitors" sculptures with their silver and gold "bristling" outfits! I look forward to seeing more captures of the art form! :)

  16. Bella,
    Oh, you snuck in after visiting hours! Glad to see you signed the visitors' book. I hope you didn't snag your cardigan on the bristles.