Last Sunday was the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks NFC Championship football game. It was also the last day for the David Hockney exhibit at the de Young museum and thought it would be a perfect time to visit. With the “important” sporting event, it wouldn’t be that busy at the museum. Right? Well, I was completely wrong and obviously had no clue.
The museum was insanely busy from fighting for a parking spot in the underground garage to strategically peeping between people for San Francisco views in the museum’s observation deck. Forgot this wasn’t the Midwest where whole cities shut down for a football game. However, I admit it was nice visiting the museum solo with the crowds. Navigating undercover without the fear of “losing” family or friends was awesome.
The wait to see the Hockney show was hindered by lines and an “approved” viewing time with 3 hours to kill. It was the perfect moment for a detour to see the Bvlgari exhibit with my VIP pass. As the artist in residence in September, I was working late the night of the The Art of Bvlgari, La Dolce Vita & Beyond 1950-1990 opening. Meticulously manicured individuals in fancy designer duds walked in and out of the Kimball Education Gallery. Security sneaked me out the side door because of the lack of proper attire. However, I was able to catch a glimpse of the rich and famous while slipping through the coat rack. It took months to finally see the exhibit and the jewels were spectacular. This bracelet would be a nice belated 40th birthday gift:
Finally my “approved” time arrived for the David Hockney: a Bigger Exhibition. Did I mention it was crazy crowded? Overall, never was a Hockney fan due to his acid trip Candy Land game of color landscapes swirled with Alice Neel like portraits. Walking through the masses, his paintings grew on me. In fact, enjoyed them and am still tying to figure out why. Not many artists can get away with his swagger of color and confidence. But Hockney triumphed and I left regretting my failure not giving his work its deserved recognition. The exhibit showcased a lifetime of dedication with over 400 works.
What was I thinking? According to Hockney: “We grow small trying to be great.”
Yes, it was the last day of the exhibit and viewing would be easier without the masses on a “normal” weekday. However, timing was perfect for the experience. Hockney might be gone from San Francisco but his art left an impression. I must leave my snarky and pretentious attitude at the door. Experience first, analyze second, and finally create a memory photo to harvest later. That is la dolce vita and beyond.
The Art of Bvlgari, La Dolce Vita & Beyond 1950-1990 is on display till Feb 17, 2014.
David Hockney: a Bigger Exhibition is now a memory and available in a book.