Art and Photography

How visiting museums and art galleries can better our photography work

First of all, I admit that, as a photographer, I should make more time time to go to museums and galleries more often, especially when I’m a lucky gal (I realize that) living pretty close to famous museums such as The Met, The Whitney, and many others. I believe that we need art–as therapy; as a form of expression; as a way to open our eyes, minds, and also hearts…. I also believe that, as photographers, we have much to learn from looking at art and surrounding ourselves with art in any form.

Therefore I’ve decided to take advantage of the pay-what-you-want museum nights in New York City, and check out The Whitney Museum.

NYC at Night. View from The Whitney Museum. iPhone photography by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.
NYC at Night. View from The Whitney Museum. iPhone photography by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.

The last time I visited The Whitney was more than two years ago, to interview and photograph artist, activist and author Avram Finkelstein for A&U Magazine–America’s AIDS Magazine . After all, Finkelstein’s artwork is featured at The Whitney, among other museums. The article, Throwing in with History , was posted two years ago, almost to the day.

Inside The Whitney Museum - Artwork Inspired by the AIDS Crisis of the '80s. iPhone Photography by Alina Oswald.
Inside The Whitney Museum – Artwork Inspired by the AIDS Crisis of the ’80s. iPhone Photography by Alina Oswald.

And so, the other night I decided to revisit The Whitney Museum, and I’m glad I did. Coming face to face with artwork created by renowned artists can be an inspiring and enlightening experience for many people, in particular for creatives. Visiting a museum or gallery can inspire our work as photographers in particular:

  • allowing us to see artwork by famous artists, and to learn about these artists and the stories behind their work, and hence, to better understand their work
  • surrounding ourselves with art, looking at art and trying to learn from it can be in itself inspiring as well as intriguing, and it can be therapeutic, too; eye-opening; there’s a certain artistic peacefulness, mindfulness, that surrounds us when we find ourselves in a museum or gallery
  • the view, alone, from The Whitney’s balconies, is worth the trip!
  • the price is right; remember, it’s pay-what-you-want museum night; that’s not to say that one shouldn’t go to a museum any other night
NYC at night. View from The Whitney Museum. Photo by Alina Oswald.
NYC at Night. View from The Whitney Museum. iPhone photography by Alina Oswald. All Rights Reserved.

Sometimes we’re amazed by the art we see, sometimes not so much. And then again, there are times when we wonder what the artist was thinking in the first place when creating that piece of art. (have you ever had that feeling?)

Either way, there’s a lot to learn from art. Now more than ever, I think that art can provide a shield that can sooth, protect, and guide us through whatever obstacles life throws at us.

As always, thank you for stopping by,

Alina Oswald

PS: This year I found myself looking for the spot I stood in a couple of years ago, on the balcony, at The Whitney, and, perhaps, take a moment to reflect. Here are two images taken from approximately that same location–a then and now view, separated by the passing of time and the memories defining it.

  1. You are inspiring me to go out to our galleries here in Sydney more. Indeed, looking at work (that isn’t photography especially) can be so stimulating and really get the creative juice flowing. That vie is pretty spectacular too!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

    1. Hi Don, thanks for your kind words. Appreciate it! And Sydney, I hear it’s an amazing place, galleries and all, and the Opera House. Thanks again for your note.

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      Reply

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