Friday, October 28, 2011

‘By taking away, they’re opening it up to interpretation’

Q&A with Adriana Nijensohn, Museum of Contemporary Art Tour Guide
Adriana Nijensohn, MCA Tour Guide
Along Chicago Avenue, a blast of wind whips trees, leaves and tourists into a frenzy of movement. In contrast, the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) stands still, silent and solid, a block of glass and concrete with little to announce its identity save for its discreet letters and a bent coat hanger sculpture by artist Mark Handoforth.
Inside, Adriana Nijensohn stands patiently waiting. Calm as the sparse interiors of the museum, the veteran tour guide is waiting to take visitors through a series of paintings and sculptures featured in ‘The Language of Less (Then and Now).’ Carefully and brilliantly selected by chief curator, Michael Darling, the exhibit showcases works by influential Minimalist and Contemporary artists.
She was a tour guide at the Art Institute of Chicago for the past ten years, mostly explaining Egyptian art and culture to curious fifth graders. Now a tour guide at the MCA for the past year, the soft-spoken Nijensohn discusses the significance of modern art in today’s culture and why Picasso will continue to mystify.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Miles of style

The man in the green shirt: Miles Davis on
the iconic 1958 album cover
Jazz musician, Miles Davis, slouches on a chair against a copper backdrop. He’s casual in a pale green button-down shirt and dark trousers, trumpet in hand as he stares out defiantly. The picture, which appeared in 1958 as the second cover version for his album ‘Milestones,’ remains one of the most iconic images of the legendary artist. Tracks like ‘Sid’s Ahead’ and ‘Dr. Jekyll’ may have caught the attention of fans and critics alike but his self-made cool and effortless image spoke to yet another group – the fashion pack.

Fiercely talented, passionate, irreverent and an eternal rebel (he was known to walk out on his audience with barely an apology), Davis was the whole celebrity package.

Friday, October 14, 2011

The rules of musical attraction

Lost in the moment: performer Scott Dusenbery regularly draws a curious crowd

It’s rush hour at the Clark and Lake subway stop. A frantic flurry of coats and briefcases marks the beginning of the end of the day. And then it ducks and weaves through the crowd: a violin’s sweet, sorrowful song permeates the tired old tiles of the station. Trains barrel in and out. Yet a handful of commuters remain rooted to the spot – for now, home and other destinations can wait.

His name is Scott Dusenbery. Neat and nondescript in jeans and a preppy white polo shirt, he coaxes his violin into a mellow tune of lingering notes, seemingly oblivious to the crowd. Nearby, a silver-haired woman leaning against a paint-chipped beam shakes her head in admiration. “Wow,” she whispers. “Just… wow.”

Friday, October 7, 2011

A cheap date and even cheaper laughs

Anna Faris (center) in 'What's Your Number?'
It’s that modern tale of love: girl meets boy. Girl and boy end up in bed. Girl loses track of her sexual partners.

Directed by Mark Mylod, ‘What’s Your Number?’ follows the life of Ally Darling (Anna Faris), who realizes she’s had 19 partners too many – according to Marie Claire, any more than 20 and she’d have missed the opportunity to find Mr. Right.

Whereas her bride-to-be sister Daisy (Ari Graynor) is a Ralph Lauren ad brought to life, Ally’s life is a ‘Sex and the City’ episode full of one-night stands, drinking and bad decisions. After the life-changing article, she enlists the help of her commitment-phobic neighbor Colin Shea (Chris Evans) to track her exes in search of The One That Got Away.