Museums. (Musea? Museii? Whatever.)

This past weekend I went to two museums. One was the Museum of Sex and the other was The Metropolitan Museum of Art, specifically to see the Alexander McQueen “Savage Beauty” exhibit. First, the Museum of Sex. It was okay. I’m going to make an analogy: Often places that specialize in sexual material are skeezy, like a middle-aged man with scruffy gray five-o’clock shadow and a dirty trenchcoat that doesn’t cover his knobby knees rubbing his hands together and chuckling softly to himself. That kind of gross. The Museum of Sex, however, more resembled a New York lady with oddly-shaped glasses who goes to gallery openings and gives lectures on women discovering their sexual selves in front of a giant painting of rockets. It was a lovely museum, although quite small. There were three exhibitions: Sex in Cartoons (lots of R. Crumb and Tom of Finland), Sex in Film (lots of…sex in film), and The Sexual Lives of Animals. Cricket and I saw an exhibit in London called Sexual Nature which was all about the sex lives of animals, so we thought that this would be the same. We were wrong. The one in London was all tongue-in-cheek, charming and naughty. This one was more ANIMALS BE DOING DURTY THANGS. There were life-size paper-mache sculptures of the animals doing the no-no acts, but in the interest of good taste I only took pictures of the placards near the art. There was this one:

This one:

And my personal favorite:

I’m surprised Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum haven’t outlawed Mallard ducks. If I were them, I would.

By the way, the funniest thing I saw there was a security guard who was clearly hired from some big agency and was profoundly displeased about working at MoSex (as the kids call it) with a black and shiny gold tie that read “I LOVE JESUS” over and over and over. It was his tiny little protest. Cricket and I were like, oooh honey, you need to find another line of work.

In somewhat keeping with the sensual theme, I went with Neenernator to the Metropolitan Museum of Art to see the Alexander McQueen exhibition. Alexander McQueen was a brilliant fashion designer who recently died, and this was a big retrospective of his work. I was vaguely familiar with this clothing and accessories, but now I think he might be my favorite designer. He was extremely concerned with taking the normal lines of the body and reshaping it – making different parts look longer or shorter or thinner or fatter, putting things in the incorrect place. Artists like Lady Gaga and Bjork really liked his work. McQueen stated that some of his influences were Tim Burton, The Brothers Grimm and Edgar Allen Poe. You’ll notice there’s a lot of references to death in his work, as well as S&M. At best, his clothes were uncomfortable to wear, and at worst they were probably a bit painful. I’m going to show you some of the more impacting pieces.

At the end of most fashion shows, they finish with the wedding dress. I love the fact that McQueen used antlers in one of his. I was told by my mother that under no circumstances was I allowed to ever get married with antlers on. She never lets me do anything.

One of the things McQueen was most well-known for was the lobster shoe. It is a ballet-shoe with a crazy-tall heel and the front bit protrudes out, making it look like a lobster claw.

Here’s a tattoo someone got of the lobster shoe. Hardcore, dude, hardcore.

My favorite dress that changed the perceived silhouette of the body was a dress I called the Christina Hendricks dress, because, well, it puts padding where one would have it if one was Christina Hendricks. Here two pictures of Christina Hendricks:

And here’s the Christina Hendricks dress:

My favorite dress was the horse dress. It’s molded to look like a nude woman on top, and then the bottom flares out and has horsehair hanging below. What makes this dress so great is the bottom flounces like the ponytail of the snottiest cheerleader in your high school.

And if you watch this video from 2:59 to 3:09, you can see the skirt-flouncing in action.

My second-favorite item was the jacket made from the skin of a Thompson’s Gazelle with gazelle horns coming out of the shoulders. You don’t need to wear makeup or earrings or anything with that, the horns do all the work for you.

There were also some stellar accessories on display. Like the face disc:

And the metal jaw:

And let’s not forget the external metal skeleton corset or the feathered ear things:

But, not surprisingly, I was drawn, once again, to wearing dead things as ornament. Specifically McQueen’s dead bird phase. At one point I turned to Neenernator and said, “IMMA GO KILL A DUCK.”

So, today I went on the internet and looked up dead birds I could purchase. It turns out that whole dead bird skins are kind of expensive. I wanted to buy this Grey Peacock Pheasant skin, but it was $300.

And since I have less than no idea what I’m doing, I decided to go with some starling skins that are a mere $7.00 each.

We’ll see what I make of this. I have been inspired. I may very well go and see the exhibit again. I recommend you see it too. It closes August 7th.

One Response to “Museums. (Musea? Museii? Whatever.)”

  1. Brian says:

    You can use my images of the show if you want

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