I can draw stick figures. That’s about it. And Snoopy. And this star doodle thingy that I do on my To-Do lists. My artistic abilities are very limited. And that’s probably why I so appreciate it in others.
I’m not one to wander around art exhibits, though, unless there is a cool theme or special event – like if art is embedded in the space I’m in. I just don’t feel like I’m on that level, to break down meanings and understand where an artist was coming from unless I had some background or preview or detailed notes about a piece’s meaning.
That’s probably why I liked Wonderspaces, a collection of 13 exhibits tucked inside a fancy mall in Scottsdale. Each of the exhibits were installations, each giving me and Ron something to think about and talk about later, and each featured some guy or girl trying (shamelessly, in my opinion) to get the PERFECT Instagram photo.
That was the only drag, I guess. Chicks in outfits they specifically chose for the exhibits so that they could get the photos they were hoping to post later. We took photos, for sure. That’s part of the whole thing. We specifically went to take Ron’s new camera for a test drive.
And one exhibit – called Come Together by Michael Murphy – is specifically enhanced by a camera’s lens. In fact, you can’t really fully experience it unless you look through a camera.
When you walk up on it, it’s a cloud of hanging, colored spools. Seemingly at random.
But when you walk back to a designated spot, the installation comes into view. Murphy took a photo of his girlfriend’s fist raised during the Women’s March, and stretched it into a 3D piece in a way that allows it all to come back together when viewed head-on through a camera.
It’s pretty amazing. It’s hard to imagine the painstaking adjustments that had to have been made throughout the assembly of it.
I don’t want to give the whole exhibit away, but Come Together was one of my favorites, along with a room filled with dangling lights. The 11-minute light show, set to music, was incredible and would put a fan of choreographed Christmas lights into an absolute frenzy despite the absence of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra.
We tried just about everything, except a second virtual reality experience after doing the first – a dinner party that explores the first reported alien abduction. My stomach could barely manage that submersion, even as I appreciated the work that went into it.
The black balloons were cool and different and begged to be photographed, and the interactive beach scene – where the user can make the sun rise or set by moving a silver beach ball – was pretty cool.
Totally go. Just prepare yourself for the mini Instagram shoots you’ll bump into along the way. Because, you’ll get that.