“People ask me – what do you mean – and I answer what do you think of when you see the image.” – Louise Bourgeois
I have a love-hate relationship with art museums.
On one hand, I love the escape, the drama, the weird forms that make you question your reality. On the other hand, I hate the pressure, the canvas with the single black line down the middle. The one that the man with the thick-rimmed glasses and the fashion-forward trench coat stands in front of for an hour while all you can think is, “Huh?”
I always feel a tinge of guilt when I’m confused. I search for meaning in art, search for the why, and feel incredibly stupid when I can’t find it. I know this is most definitely the wrong approach to take at an art gallery, though. That’s why I included Louise Bourgeois’ quote.
Her work was featured in an exhibition at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art. I visited there this week. I’d been itching to go on an adventure by myself, so I hopped on the train, then a bus, and voilà, somehow ended up in front of a giant golden thumb.
I meandered through the rooms, trying to absorb the overwhelming amount of visual stimuli. Colors burst. Lines cut through open, white space. Pink, clay blobs sprouted from the floor and oozed in every direction.
My favorite collection was the Kusama installation. The Gleaming Lights of the Souls is one of the most popular pieces at the museum. A small platform surrounded by water sits at the center of the room. Lights resembling glowing ping-pong balls hang from the ceiling and change color in a soothing rhythmic pulse. Oh, and did I mention the walls and ceiling are covered in mirrors? It was like entering a different galaxy. Unfortunately, my blurry selfie does not do it justice. You’ll have to visit the installation and see for yourself.
Admittedly, I spent almost as much time in the gift shop as in the museum. It was packed with knick-knacks, jewelry, posters, and pottery to name a few. Mostly, I remained rooted to the spot with my nose in a book. I wanted to read everything on the shelf. (Page through Banksy: You Are an Acceptable Level of Threat if you ever get a chance.)
Eventually, I had to extract myself from Louisiana and start the trek home.
Anger. Fear. Loneliness. Humor. Elation. Complete awe. I had felt it all. I left Louisiana feeling full. But of course, I still had room for a beautiful blueberry tart.