Today is officially Slow Art Day.
If you aren’t familiar with Slow Art Day. It’s a global event that encourages the joy of looking and loving art.
It has official guidelines that museums follow, but there are no rules. It’s just focusing on slow looking. Really spending time with a few works of art and appreciating.
To celebrate Slow Art Day, I’ve picked a few pieces from the art destinations I visited in San Francisco for you to enjoy.
THE PLACE: The museum has wonderful open terraces off almost every floor. Some with green walls others with city views. The perfect place to take a break from art overload and grab lunch before diving back in. And, that is just what I did!
THE ART: I spent the most time with this painting “Death in The Sick Room” by Edvard Munch. It was part of a feature show of his haunting paintings. I know, not a very cheerful way to spend a vacation day. Strangely, after looking at this woman’s pale stare for a long time I came away uplifted. She felt brave holding her head up while everyone else in the room turns away from the worst of life.
THE ART: I sort of stumbled into this gallery filled with 224 poodles arranged in a circle around a baby, in a star. My first reaction was to laugh out loud. I thought it must be some sort of installation using religious symbolism to comment on how dogs protect humans or how dogs might view humans as God.
I got it so wrong. It turns out “Child with Poodles” by Katharina Fritsch is a reference to a story of Faust unknowingly inviting Mephistopheles disguised as a poodle into his study.
It was a visually striking piece. And…I will never look at poodles the same again.
THE ART: Late in the afternoon, I sat admiring the surrealist green beauty in Dorothea Tanning’s Self Portrait.
I think she is thinking sometimes you need to just stand back and take everything in. I often, think the same thing.
THE PLACE: I spent a few hours here delighting in the light and enjoying a range of art from traditional to modern. It has all you might expect in a cathedral soaring ceilings, rose window, and Doors of Paradise from Florence Italy. Plus labyrinths inside and out. What I loved about this spot were the many unexpected art pieces that gave such an inclusive view of spiritual matters.
Just an fyi…it’s also the perfect place to sit for a moment if you find yourself experiencing vertigo in the Nob Hill section of San Francisco. Just saying.
THE ART: This Mary Magadline icon by Robert Lentz was commissioned to commemorate the first Episcopal female bishop. The red color stands out against the stone walls were it hangs just outside the oldest part of the cathedral.
I very enthusiastic guide pointed out to me that it’s said to be inspired by the famous Afghan girl on the cover of National Geographic. I loved this notion of reimaging a mysterious woman from history as a mysterious woman from modern times.