On June 2nd, SFMOMA is closing its doors for the next 3 years to undergo expansion. It seems, the curators decided to go out with a bang by adding to its regular and rather impressive collection pieces of a more shocking variety. Among them, a five-story long installation by Gu Wenda that looks airy and beautiful until you take a closer look (or read the label) and realize it’s made of human hair. I’d say, that’s one piece where “don’t touch” sign is not needed.
If you think that that is a “no biggie”, proceed to the next room to examine a piece by Damien Hirst, titled “Philip” (as in 12 disciples). Care to guess what it is? No? Good, because you couldn’t have possibly come up with a “flayed cow head in an aquarium box”. By the way, I googled the artist – definitely has crazy eyes. And, rounding up the odder pieces, a large scale painting of a, well, a large-scale woman by Jenny Saville. (I googled her too, just to discover that “Hem” is actually one of her milder works).
There was also an interesting special exhibit by a street photographer, Garry Winogrand. Many of his photographs, shot with a tilted frame and from a side angle, contained a lot of energy yet managed to capture genuine facial expressions of his subjects – men and women on the streets of New York, LA and Dallas. After seeing his work, one won’t be surprised to learn that he is the photographer behind this iconic image of Marilyn Monroe.