Ethiopian Mountain High
November 11, 2003
Impressionism Buenos Aires, Captial Federal, Argentina
Wednesday June 18, 2003
I can't believe I almost missed the Buenos Aires art museum. I'd been meaning to go since I got here, but never summoned the will to walk up there. Finally I did it and it's a very good thing I did.
I like Impressionism. I'm no art snob, but I just like looking at it. And if I remember art appreciation classes correctly, it was the first time ordinary people and their ordinary activities were considered appropriate subjects for high art.
"The gang's all there." Turns out the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes has a ton of Impressionistic art. Just name a famous Impressionist and he's there. Monet, Manet, Degas, Gauguin, Lautrec. Apart from Impressionism, there's a Picasso, a Van Gogh, a Rembrandt and a bunch of Rodins. The gang's all there. On the second floor I was walking through a modern art gallery unimpressed, when a painting across the room caught my eye. "That looks like a Jackson Pollock." And who knew. Jackson's represented here, too. I spent over two hours in there.
I'm waiting now for four o'clock to roll around so I can go pick up my passport with newly attached Brazilian visa. You'd think that for $120 they'd hand-deliver it to my apartment. Or at least let me drop by anytime to pick it up. But I'm waiting. I just saw that the South African embassy is just a few blocks away. I think I may drop by there to be sure they'll let me in the country. It seems they can be very insistent on visitors having tickets out of the country and other documentation. Is there really a big problem of poor people saving up all their money, going to places like South Africa and Brazil, and staying there to mooch off public services?