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MASKED UP: Escape to the Museums

Updated: Aug 24, 2021

In September 2020, New York City began allowing their museums to reopen with restrictions to capacity. My last museum trip was in February, when I attended an art battle at the Newark Museum of Art. So, I was eager to get my art fix. But I was also a bit nervous, after sheltering-in-place for 6 months. But I decided that I would escape the cabin fever of my studio apartment for a few hours. But unlike and my previous museum trips, I needed to be armed with a mask and hand gun, I mean... hand sanitizer! Also, it was a "mandatory minimum" to purchase timed-tickets online. I decided that I would go to the new photography museum, Fotografiska. I had visited this amazing museum back in January. However this time when I entered, I was asked several questions regarding COVID-19, my recent travel history and I had to take a temperature check with a thermometer gun. Also, mistakenly, the young lady asked me if I had ever been incarcerated. No, for real. I can't make this up!!! While there, I saw an exhibit called Between These Folded Walls, Utopia. This exhibit was by the creative duo of Sarah Cooper and Nina Gorfer. It was a series of surrealistic, goddess-like portraits of young women who have been forced to uproot their lives. Inside, everyone was practicing social distancing and the atmosphere was quite festive. Maybe, they too were excited to get out of their homes for a few hours. I have to say, felt so good to be out and about. I truly enjoyed my solo trip.

A few weeks later, my lady friend and I decided to visit the Museum of Modern Art. Yes, we were in Bonnie & Clyde mode. She wanted to see the painting, The Dream by Henri Rousseau. We arrived at the entrance with our timed tickets and there was a line outside but it moved quickly. As we moved through the check-in line, we had to take a "mug shot" and be photographed with our masks properly worn before given permission to enter the museum. Yes, a "visual strip search" was done on us! Once inside, it wasn't too crowded. Even though the gallery area was roped off, we did get to see Rousseau's painting. We experienced a dazzling installation called Handles by artist Haegue Yang. It featured six sculptures, numerous geometric designs and ambient sound. We had a great time together. I felt like we were making up for lost time due to the pandemic. After about 2 hours, we were released on good behavior. (ok, that was corny). Mission accomplished! My two creative heists were successful. Now, I'm planning my next score.

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