Monday, April 17, 2017

You Learn Something New Every Exhibit

Where: Sackler Gallery

When: through April 30, 2017

When I say this is at the Sackler, that's not quite right.  It's actually in the hallway between the Ripley's main concourse and the International Gallery.  You can enter from the Sackler, but I think that's a misleading location.  If you're in the Sackler, go down to the S3 level and before you walk into the Turquoise Mountain exhibit, turn left.

I know almost nothing about Kung Fu and about as much about hip hop culture, but the one has had a great influence on the other.  Bruce Lee, especially, is idolized in the world of hip hop and rap, and this interest has led two artists to incorporate his image into their work.

MC Yan's work is a series of blocks, with architectural details in the background, and Bruce Lee paintings over top.  The blocks fit together rather like a puzzle; they're both a painting and a 3-D work.

Fab 5 Freddy also uses Bruce Lee's image, reproducing a picture of him, with graffiti and self-portraits.  There is also the occasional scratch mark, as if a bear has come along and clawed the work.

I'm not sure what all of this means, but it's certainly outside my usual museum experience, so I'm happy to have my world expanded a bit.

Verdict: A good reminder that Asian art, broadly defined,  has influenced many cultures. A clever way for the Sackler to celebrate the opening of the NMAAHC.

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