Being the self-proclaimed cultured 14-year-old that I am, I consider myself quite fortunate to live about 45 minutes away, traffic depending, from the Museum of Modern Art, or, more familiar and fondly, MoMA. This past year, I've held a membership there that not only allows me to skip the seemingly endless queues, but also attend members-only viewings and "parties." Parties meaning a congregation like-minded, cultured individuals ranging in all classes, races, ethnicities, and ages, though I am usually the youngest, gathered to listen to masked bands, enjoy artisanal sweet potato chips and an open bar (again, I am usually the youngest), and, albeit occasionally, view the art itself. Although I have only made it to a handful of these, because of a little, bothersome thing in my life called school, I have sufficiently enjoyed every moment I've spent at MoMA, as well as the prospect of going brightening up my hours before, and, to a lesser degree, my time contemplating after. Those short hours I spend engulfed in the cultured and curious nature of the MoMA crowd both feed my mind at the moment and fuel my thoughts for the coming days. The art parties normally take place on a weeknight, the following morning of which I will inevitably be found gazing at the city skyline from the window of my math class. I crave an intelligence beyond that which is taught at my school; I crave an intelligence that comes from the mind rather than the brain, from thinking rather than being taught.
To be honest, I don't often think about the art itself, but rather the type of people attracted to it. (Art, like fashion, is on one hand about the visual meaning/representation, but on the other meant to evoke something within the viewer, so my interpretation of art is usually related to the people I feel it strikes a chord with.) Since I'm currently going through my first year of high school, I'm experiencing and observing the way people connect and attract to each other. If one took a look at the cliques and friend groups in my school, one would notice that there is, with few exceptions, some visual connection between the members of the group. My school is considered very diverse and progressive, but somehow all the white and black girls still sit at separate tables. I am neither black, nor white, and I do not speak fluent Spanish, so I've never quite "fit in" with any one group. I have "friends" but I can't bring up obscure references and connections without facing first a blank stare and later mockery. That's why I've felt my most at home in the sculpture garden of MoMA, surrounded by cultured individuals who all look distinctly separate and are yet attracted to each other through their shared knowledge and interest in knowledge.
At the time of my writing this, it's been about two and a half weeks since I've been to MoMA and I feel culturally starved. My, albeit short, time away from the museum makes me feel more lonely than uncultured. My trips to MoMA reassure me that there's hope for those like me, that I won't have to live vicariously through online and print publications my entire life, that I will, eventually find friends with whom I can argue the importance of Patti Smith or Alexander Fury's latest piece. Until I can find a "home" like MoMA, MoMA will have to serve as my home.