There is just too much damn art in Italy (and in Europe in general) for one single person to possibly absorb and appreciate in their lifetime. This continent is bursting at the seams with museums that are chuck full of world-famous works that we Americans can only dream of seeing in person. As a result of this (beautiful) problem, I’ve been paying more attention to specific exhibits rather than whole museums when deciding which ones to visit.
Instagram is really a great resource for exhibit promo. Since landing here in August, I’ve found two fashion-oriented (and free) exhibits to see that I wouldn’t have known about otherwise. What a time to be alive!
A medieval palace turned museum, Palazzo Reale (Italian for “Royal Palace”) is centrally located directly next to Milan’s most famous landmark: Il Duomo. The palace features rotating exhibits of various epochs, many of artists who are not of Italian origin. The building itself is extremely opulent and could function as a museum on its own without any art exhibitions. I hope to return to see more of what the Palazzo has to offer.
Vogue Photo Festival: Vanessa Beecroft
Vogue Italia recently sponsored a 4-day festival celebrating the significance of photography in the fashion industry. The event’s first installation included meetings, conferences, and exhibits held all over Italy’s fashion capital. This festival provided an “inside” view to the public about happenings in the fashion community that are often unaccessible.
As mentioned, I had been wanting to check out Palazzo Reale for some time. When I discovered this exhibit, I decided it was the ideal opportunity to visit. The exposition I viewed was a collection of polaroids taken from 1993-2016 by Italian-born artist Vanessa Beecroft, who is most noted for her contributions to performance art.
These polaroids are a personal look into some of her provocative works, all surrounding the topic of “the female gaze” (that being, a reversal of the male gaze). Polaroids were the chosen medium, as they represent permanence in an era of quickly-consumed digital imagery. I can’t help but reflect on the irony of this last statement, as I discovered this exhibit on Instagram, the mother of all fast photo consumption.
Below are some pictures of the polaroids (and one sculpture) that were impossible for me to look away from. Definitely glad that I made the effort to see this!