Monday afternoon Tikka and I just hopped in the car and drove to Atlanta. Well, it wasn't quite that spur-of-the moment, but I had only decided to go on Sunday afternoon, so it wasn't all that planned either. But the trip was monumentous because it is the first time in years that I have done such a thing, and by myself, probably the first time in decades. I've always dreamt about "someday" just going somewhere to see art or hear music, or just for the fun of it, but those dreams have remained just that, dreams. Until Sunday afternoon, when, curled up on the sofa with Tikka and Moisés, I realized that my schedule was clear until Wednesday. Just like that, "someday" became "why not".
It was a fun trip. Although it hadn't started raining when I left, it rained pretty much the entire trip south. We had fun anyway. Message to my new travels-with-dog self, a towel in the car is a useful thing.
We stayed at the Grand Hyatt in Buckhead, which was perfectly lovely and friendly too. Tikka was happy to meet new people, although also a little overwhelmed at the abundance of new sights and smells, and everyone at the hotel was very kind and helpful to both of us. We arrived late, and it was still raining, so we didn't walk around much that evening but instead curled up in a big chair in our room. I was happy that the room was very comfortable, and had lots of lights and accessible plugs for charging various electronic paraphernalia. The ottoman was easy to move so that Tikka could jump up and take her side of the king-size bed.
In the morning, we discovered we had a beautiful view of the Japanese garden through our rain-soaked window, and we promptly went down for a walk. Buckhead is a good area for morning walks, and the hotel was conveniently located with easy access to many nice walking areas. There are also nice coffee shops and cafés in the area with outdoor tables, where I was able to drink my coffee while Tikka watched the passers-by, although I did go back to the hotel for breakfast. I am happy to report they even had gluten-free toast and English muffins, and they weren't bad.
The reason for my trip was to go and see an exhibit at Jackson Fine Art of works by Mona Kuhn and Matthew Pillsbury. It was well worth the effort and I spent a fair amount of time in the gallery, mostly looking at the work of Matthew Pillsbury. But Mona Kuhn's work surprised me and has stayed with me more than I might have expected.
I was already familiar with her work, and although I was interested, I have also come to understand that I am not usually a person who is drawn to portraits in art. But perhaps usually is the key word here, and I can be surprised. I was enthralled by the layers of light and shadow, the layering of light in the images of her nudes, and they way they implied a sense of half-seeing, of playing with hidden-depths and semi-revelations in the figures. Unfortunately, although you can get some sense of the layering of light and image in an internet photograph, the print, up close has a dimensionality of depth that cannot be reproduced online.
I was also taken by some of the non-figure photographs, and wished I had asked to see more. I got a small sense of that same feeling of seeing and not-seeing, of things known and unknown. I regret that I had not examined these more fully and look forward to hopefully seeing more of this work in the future.
Tikka and I took another walk, ran a few short errands and headed home. I needed to be back in Knoxville today, and so didn't really have time to trek off to other venues, but that was ok. The trip was enough in and of itself. Sometimes I have to remind myself that it is ok to make a big effort for a seemingly small thing, and the rewards may be greater than anticipated, greater perhaps even than cramming too many things into a small space.
Mona Kuhn, Mirage II, 2012, courtesy Jackson Fine Art, here.
Mona Kuhn, Private, 2013, courtesy Jackson Fine Art, here.