Friday, August 31, 2007

Jezebella on Tour: Two things about Kansas City

1. I got to spend about an hour in the newly expanded Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. Nicely done. It's got great soaring ceilings and terrific light, great for big-ass paintings both modern and contemporary. Yet the space flows slowly downward from one room to the next - I hesitate to use the word "room" here because they're more like separate spaces with some architecture defining your movement from one area to the next. Beautifully done. Nice floors, good collection, good lighting.

I love their Rothko. I was going to add a link to it, but Rothkos are impossible to understand in photographs. You have to get up next to the canvas to see the subtlety and sublimity of black-on-burgundy-on-black that goes on in his dark paintings.

I saw this show: Manet to Matisse which was kind of, meh. It's a private collection so it's a little uneven. The Cezanne oil study of a man smoking a pipe is FANTASTIC. Nothing else really stuck with me.

I got to see the first two rooms of this show: Developing Greatness and wish I'd had time to see all of it. I love daguerreotypes. I have no idea how they managed to light a zillion hanging daguerreotypes so visitors could see them. If you've ever handled one, you know that you have to kind of tilt it back & forth to get a good view of it. It's a thin metal layer on glass, a positive one-of-a-kind image, not a print made from an original negative. I'd go back & see the rest of that show if I could.

And, continuing my newly-found love for Kiki Smith, I totally fell for her installation called Constellation Totally love her work. Want to see more, and more, and more.

2. I got on the elevator at the hotel where two large, burly, black transvestites were meditating upon the buttons. "They said Room 237," said one. Said the other, "But there isn't a button for 2." I said, "L is the same as 2. The lobby is the second floor." And then I pushed the open door button and off sauntered the most deep-voiced man in extensions, a denim miniskirt, and acrylic nails I'd ever laid eyes on. The two of them seemed to have some sort of, ahem, *appointment* in room 237.

I use the word transvestite intentionally, because these were not drag queens in overdone makeup and sparkly dresses. Nor were they transsexuals, as neither had used hormones, depilation, or was even bothering to try to raise their voices. These were, simply put, dudes in skirts, extensions, and a little makeup. With fancy nails. One of them even had some razor stubble on his/her cheeks.

My people, it has been a long time since I've been on an elevator with a transvestite.

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