Almost a week ago, last Friday, Margaret and I spent the afternoon in the Upper East Side in Manhattan! We went to see the Kips Bay Decorator Show House first, which I told you a bit about on Tuesday. After that we met our friend Sara McMillan at the Metropolitan Museum of Art for Lunch on the fourth floor. We had a view of Central Park and had delicious lunch while we got a chance to catch up. We had a great time and eventually Sara had to head back home. At this point we decided to dive into the “Heavenly Bodies” Exhibit that was curated for this years Met Gala Theme.
The overall presentation was fantastic. The dazzling clothing was tastefully placed in direct conjunction with Catholic relics and garb. The scene was a mixed crowd; young and old, all races and religions were here to see how religion and fashion had slowly influenced each other over the ages. Artnet discussed the exhibit saying, "'Heavenly Bodies' mixes actual ecclesiastical garments with clothing and accessories by leading couturiers who have been inspired by the symbols, narratives, and costumes and objects of Catholicism." A lot of artists and designers over the last few years have moved away from culturally appropriating religious garb, icons and relics for the use of aesthetic purposes. Yet this exhibit doesn't aim to compare or elevate the clothing and garments to a spiritual level, really it is hoping to bring new light to the artifacts filling the museum, ultimately to bring them back to the same world as our reality.
Religion can often feel intangible, and viewing the memory and preservation of different cultures and religions can be eye opening but at times hard to relate to. The goal of "Heavenly Bodies" is to give the viewer a chance to re-approach an once unfathomable, mysterious aspect of religion from the human perspective.
The exhibit is fascinating, putting lots of juxtaposing but harmonious themes in front of you, asking you to consider what this all means to you. What part of your world is made up of material objects? What material objects do you closely depend on for identity and strength?
Let us know what you think in the comments below! If you haven't made it to the Metropolitan Museum of Art or the Met Cloisters yet, it is definitely worth a visit!