I had the chance to spend the day in Manhattan yesterday, after leading a retreat on Monday-Tuesday for the American Baptist Churches Ministers Council of New Jersey. I was able to go to the Museum of Modern Art for the first time. I found the art moving and inspiring. I was particularly struck by Rousseau’s Sleeping Gypsy, which is enormous.
Seeing art in person is so much different than looking at images in a book. The colors are so vivid, and you can see the scale of the artist’s vision. It takes courage to keep working and creating, especially when you are an innovative artist like so many of these represented. Van Gogh, Picasso, Jackson Pollock – these and many others faced extreme criticism of their art. I heard someone in the museum say of Pollock, “he just shook paintbrushes at a canvas,” as if there was no creativity involved. You don’t have to like Pollock’s art to admire his hard work and vision. I think creativity involves both.