Thursday, August 23, 2012

A day off in New York.

Some years ago, maybe half a decade, Ronald Lauder, the billionaire heir of the Estee Lauder cosmetics fortune, bought a giant mansion on Fifth Avenue and 86th Street and built a museum dedicated to German and Austrian art and culture called the Neue Gallery.

Lauder also spent about $150 million buying Gustave Klimt's masterpiece, "the Mona Lisa of the 20th Century," Adele Block-Bauer I. The Neue Gallery has the painting on display only through this up-coming Monday, so my wife and I decided to beat the last-minute crowds and we're taking the day off and seeing the painting today.

Klimt was a crazy man. A man of Lucullan appetites, who painted and slept with virtually all those Viennese who lauded his avant-garde works. He was scorned by the Viennese establishment, hated for his upsetting of the societal applecart. His many sketches of female nudes assertive in their sensuality and sexuality would put hair on your chest today. In Klimt's time they were considered degenerate, "Jewish" and were banned.

Apparently, there were Republicans back then, too.

I haven't traveled that much in my life so I can't say I'm fully-knowledgeable in the matter, but I do believe New York is the greatest city in the world. Just as Vienna was in the early 1900s. And London was some years before that.

I've been going pretty hard at work over the last few months. I've partnered with a new art-director, conceived and sold and new campaign and chosen a director for the three spots we'll be shooting in about a month.

Along the way, the usual crush of new business and regular work has continued.

But today, all that is forty blocks away.

I am seeing "The Lady in Gold."


@rebrivved said...

Glad you are gathering ye rosebuds while ye may, Geo.

Bob Hoffman said...

Lucullan. You don't see that word every day.

geo said...

Bob, I might be the last person who's ever used it.