Bilbao, Spain

From San Sebastián, I took an hour-and-a-half bus ride to Bilbao to visit the Guggenheim Museum.  The bus dropped us off near San Mamés Stadium (below), and I walked to the museum so I could see a bit of the city while I was there.

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The Guggenheim did not disappoint.  The Frank Gehry building is incredible, as were the monumental sculptures surrounding it.  Jeff Koons’ Puppy stands guard in the front of the museum, while his Tulips take root in the back.

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As I already wrote on my Instagram, no photos were allowed in any of the exhibits, so I sat on the floor drawing them.  I was most moved by the work of artist Joana Vasconcelos who transformed objects into other, oversized ones.  For instance, “Red Independent Heart” is made of red plastic forks, spoons, and knives.  “The Bride” was made of OB tampons strung on cotton thread into a chandelier like object, “Marilyn,” which was a pair of high heeled shoes, was made of steel pots, pans, and lids.  The two most powerful pieces for me were “Call Center” and “Burka.”  “Call Center” assembled antique black phones ringing in different patterns, often sounding like the gun that they formed. “Burka” was a mannequin head wearing a burka and draped in other fabrics.  Every so often, the head was lifted on a crane, the fabric flowing beneath her like a dress, and then she was dropped without warning, causing a startling boom.  The first time I heard her fall, I almost yelled.  The next time she fell, a group of kids walking by, all jumped in unison.  Click here to see photos of her work, which is on display at the Guggenheim through November 11, 2018.

© Sarah Milstein 2018