TED Conversations

Elizabeth LeBlanc


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What has been your most exciting, most pivotal, most life-changing "museum moment"?

How has a museum changed your life? Did you discover a new idea, fall in love with a work of art/artist, or have another kind of memorable experience from the act of visiting a museum?


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    May 16 2011: Yes! Of all places it was at SFMOMA. About five years ago they had a retrospective of work by Eva Hesse. I had never seen any of her work before, and barely remember her being mentioned in art school ... After getting through about 3/4 of the SFMOMA exhibition I sat down on a viewing bench and cried. I had never connected with another artist's work like I did with hers. Some of my work is very similar to hers (although using different materials and not toxic in the making of it) and I could see a real, tangible connection between her work and mine, both in a visual sense and in meaning. It was quite overwhelming.

    About twenty seven years earlier, my art school friend Keith Haring had come over to tell me about an exhibition of Pierre Alechinsky's he had just seen the day before. He was so animated and full of emotion about that show. It took me two and half decades to have that similar experience and really understand what he went through.

    Experiences like that are once in a life time, amazing events. I've never gotten over it.
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      May 19 2011: great story Kim..and love your freind Keith's work..truly authentic and original..must have been fun to know him.
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        May 22 2011: Thanks Lindsay :)

        It was fun to know him - although I knew him in Pittsburgh before he got famous and only saw him twice after he moved to New York - once when I visited his studio in NYC and another time when he was visiting the SF Bay Area. He was a great kid and full of creative energy. Pittsburgh was a bit of an incubator for him, as it was for me, but it couldn't hold him (nor I, come to think of it :).

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