Coming in from the patriotic city of Washington DC to the edgy streets of New York City, I was ready to transform into a true photographer, a real artist. My Name is Hannah and I’m a rising junior wishing for what the rest of us kids with a camera strap imprinted in our necks are wishing for—to be a photographer in the famous streets of the greatest city in the world, the city that never sleeps—New York City.
The fast paced city of New York came to an abrupt halt as I stepped through the glass doors of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Everything around seemed as though it was moving in slow motion. I could feel my breath grow heavy as it escaped through my open jaw, taking in the architecture soon to realize I still had yet to see the art hidden within the walls of this famous museum I so insignificantly stood in. As I made my way up the marble stairs, light flooded in from the windows, cascading upon the surreal statues made by artists ranging from Gian Lorenzo Bernini to Houdon.
Now reconstructing the endless hallways of The Met, the exhibition that stands out the most in my mind was the Reconfiguring an African Icon: Odes to the Mask by Modern and Contemporary Artists from Three Continents. The sculptured masks are made up of a bizarre grouping of “discarded materials,” in lack of better words— garbage, yet the artists Romuald Hazoumé and Calixte Dakpogan seem to create the most interesting combination of art and culture I have ever encountered. One can’t help but wonder what those alienated masks represent and what stories are concealed behind the gaping pieces of metal and wood so mystically pieced together. The masks, so outrageous and colorful that I could not help but bring my 35 millimeter Minolta to my eye and vastly snap away at the life and shadows playing off the wall. Shortly after, I felt a tap on the shoulder and a man’s voice yelped, “mam!” I was reluctant to turn around as the guard pointed to the sign forbidding the use of photography in the exhibition.
In short—I hope I got a couple good frames! This visit to The Met is surly never to be forgotten.