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A Moment at The Met


At The Metropolitan Museum of Art this Sunday, these two people stood in front of “Mark” by photorealist painter Chuck Close for ages. Close’s work has that “how did he do it?” affect on people. This photograph reminded me of one of my favorite artists, photographer Laurie Victor Kay, and her “Au Musee” series in which she captures kids in museums. There’s something wonderful about the contrast of the innocent kids next to complex and weighty works of art.

I love the idea of watching people look at art. Not because I want to critique how anyone takes it in, just because I like to see the setting a work is placed in. And when you look at art in galleries and museums, you’re not usually alone, so those other people become part of the experience, too.


Above is her “Decapitation” taken at Paris’ Musée d’Orsay in front of Henri Regnault’s 1870 Summary Execution under the Moorish Kings of Grenada.” I’m captivated by this sweet little girl and her chubby arms being exposed to that gruesome painting before her. I hope she’s not scarred for life.



  1. GIA

    YIKES! I’d think both the boy and the little girl would go home with periodic flashings of this decapitation picture in their minds. It’s called PTSD and a young impressionable mind can experience trauma from viewing pics or photo’s of violence. I think we need to let our children be a little more innocent (longer) and less exposed for the sake of ‘exposure’ – they’ll have to face life sooner or later anyway. Why not make it later and art be damned?

  2. Lauren

    When I was a child my mum had a book of paintings which hung in the Musee D’Orsay, and this was mine and my brother’s favourite. And I turned out just fine!

  3. culturefix

    Glad to hear it! I think Victor Kay’s photo is a great juxtaposition. Really intriguing. Makes me think about when and how kids will be exposed to all the evils of the world. We can only protect them so much.

  4. Pamela

    Don’t forget though, this is a painting, not *actual* evil…

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