This afternoon, I was walking back to the westside from a meeting with a client on Park Avenue. While passing MoMA, I decided to stop in to renew my expired membership. It wasn’t crowded so I could do it fast. You know, back to work. And what a feel-good thing to do on a very cold, dreary winter day in February. I was just about to walk out of the museum to go on my way – to get back to work, but decided while I’m here I might as well take in an exhibit. The Marron Atrium on the second floor is always good for something special. And it will be fast. You know…back to work.
There was the exhibit by Wolfgang Laib called Pollen from Hazelnut. He collects pollen from various plants, stores it in jars and creates installations infusing a space with a yellow luminosity. This is the artist’s largest pollen installation to date, measuring approximately 18 x 21 feet. The hazelnut pollen that is used in this installation has been collected by Laib from the natural environment around his home and studio, in a small village in southern Germany, since the mid-1990s.
And then, I did something uncharacteristic of me – I stopped to watch the short film of the artist talking about his work. I am in awe. Here is the heart burst part: OK, I practice “being” rather than “doing” – yet this artist has chosen this work of taking all the time it needs. It is painstaking. It keeps him in the beauty of nature. He explains that when he was a medical student and a doctor, all he saw was pain, sickness and dying. As an artist, he collects pollen because it represents the inception of life. BOOM. Heart burst.
I walked home with an expansiveness – that kind I get when I experience great art.
Here is the short film from the exhibit. Take the time to enjoy.