I recently went to an exhibit at the MOMA to see the Claes Oldenburg exhibit. He’s definitely not one of the most popular artists we know today but he’s one of the better-known ones from the Pop Art movement. Here are some of his other larger-than-life works shown at the MOMA exhibit.
A big part of the Oldenburg show is very visual so I think it would be a good exhibit to take the kids to this summer. I just think it would be fun to see a young child’s expression when he sees a hamburger that’s actually bigger than his own bed. Though Oldenburg’s work is often thought of as cheerful as most Pop Art forms are, the exhibit shows some of his grittier early works. The artist, a product of a very bourgeois household that immigrated to America from Sweden in 1936, has a very interesting perspective on the American culture. His earlier and more somber creations were influenced by the poverty as well as the Jewish and Latino communities he encountered while living in the Lower East Side in the 1960s. Oldenburg’s bigger and bolder works were more inspired by consumerism and advertising during the Kennedy era as well as things he found unique in the American culture…hence, the humongous hamburger, cake and ice cream installations. This sense of “being an outsider looking in” or being a “foreigner” has stayed with Oldenburg most of his life here in America and is perhaps one of the reason why his subjects and themes are often things we’d considered somewhat banal and not-so-special in our society.
Here are some other things I checked out on my visit at the museum: