Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Alexander McQueen: 81st St and 5th Ave

You may have heard of the unprecedented success and popularity of the Alexander McQueen exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum in the NY Times, AM New York, or any number of other places people go for cultural news so I won't bore you with the details of the actual exhibit.  Rather, I'll share with you the nightmare that was waiting in the over 2 hour long line with no benches to rest on and no water to drink (inside the museum--never mind the wait outside as shown above).  I got there an hour before the museum opened so I could get a decent place in line and I would suggest that that is the best way to minimize the wait, but that is not foolproof either. 

Members can come about an hour before opening and skip the lines.  That is better, but then you'd have to shell out dues for a membership--pretty steep.  Or lastly you can come with someone who is physically incapable of waiting in long lines and hope that they provide you with a "VIP" pass to skip the line--but best be extra-kind and solicitous with the "powers that be," the security guards.

Yes, the exhibit shows some amazing pieces by McQueen.  There are works from his Scottish line (see left), his widow line, his rape line, his extravagant feathered pieces, as well as some of the most extra-ordinary accessories like shoes and head pieces (see right).  But overall, I give the exhibit a 7.5 out of 10.  The only real reason to go see this exhibit and battle these crowds is if you are one of those folks who feel like they have to experience the top shows, exhibits, restaurants, and so on, in NYC.  Do you hate it when friends lord over you with their fabulous experiences after you've told them you missed something?  Would your "friends" do those kinds of things to you to make themselves feel better by making you feel a little worse?  Well, unfortunately, that is a large portion of the population in NYC.  Or perhaps that is a big portion of the population everywhere, just more pronounced here in NYC because we are fortunate enough to have more opportunities than most living in this magnet of a city.

In any event, if you don't want to be one of those people that "missed the BIGGEST show" at the Metropolitan, you have until this Sunday at midnight (yes, they are extending viewing hours this weekend) to catch a glimpse of "Savage Beauty."  Enjoy it if you can.

The Met does have a sense of humor about the waiting.  In fact, they have created a pamphlet that describes the art on the walls and in the display cabinets in the rooms on the way to the McQueen exhibit.  The pamphlet entitled "McQueen Line Trek: The Taming of the Queue" is a kind of abbreviated scavenger hunt about the other artwork that is in the Met's permanent collection (that usually don't get very many visitors I would imagine).

Ok, this was a bit of a rant, but that is basically how I feel.  I'm glad the Met is making a mint on this exhibit (because I think it is a great institution that brings amazing art to the public), but really, couldn't they alleviate the stress of the exhausting lines and make the viewing more enjoyable (less crowded)?

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