Collaborating with MoMa – a modern day fairytale

The following is an extract from OCA BA (Hons) Painting student Michael Whyte’s blog.

Greenberg contradictions 01, Tempera, Acrylic and black enamel paint on A3 canvas

Dearest Cleo

It is time for you to relax and sit down and read a modern day fairytale.

Once upon a time Mickos was doing mundane research on the internet when all of a sudden he came across a Coursera that was run by MoMA. The Coursera involved studying and researching the methods and techniques of the abstract expressionists. Having recently seen the exhibition of the Abstract Impressionists at the Royal Academy, this was of course a subject dear to Mickos’ heart.

Mickos counted his beans, decided he had more than enough and sent some to the good people at MoMA to allow him to study the course.

The course was hard, split into weekly units that involved reading, answering questions and doing a painting each week in the style of several abstract expressionist artists. Mickos stuck with it and at the end of the course Mickos was awarded a certificate for all his hard work.

Certificate from MoMA course

Mickos was proud of his certificate but was just as proud of the works he had produced for the course. Around six months later, when MoMA issued a call for submissions for an exhibition Mickos chose the work he thought the best and submitted it by email. In mid December 2017 Mickos was thrilled to learn that his submission had been accepted for exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and that he was invited to the opening reception of the exhibition on the 8 of January 2018.

Mickos looked on the internet quickly and found that tickets to New York were £1800 each and he was sad, but then he remembered that his daughter Loz was an internet wizard. He phoned her and left the problem in her very capable hands.

Some days later Loz rang back to say she had sorted the trip out for both of them for £1200 – this pleased Mickos immensely, especially so, because he wasn’t going to be home alone in New York.

The Christmas Holiday intervened which was lucky because a flurry of activity was needed, buying and reading of guidebooks, finding the cold weather clothing, it was after all, going to be minus fourteen in New York, this worried Mickos somewhat but he reasoned that the bars, hotels and the MoMA would be warm.

The weather intervened to close JFK and Mickos and Loz eventually arrived in New York a day late, but in plenty of time for the opening of the Exhibition on the 8 January.

Mickos and Loz did tourist New York for three days before attending the opening, they were overwhelmed by the 9/11 Museum, delighted by the Met, uplifted by the Empire State and Top of the Rock and cold in Central Park and Times Square. While they were dressing for the opening, Mickos confessed to having butterflies in his stomach, something he hadn’t felt since playing Rugby League as a young man.

A big Yellow Taxi delivered them to the MoMA, where MoMA provided wine, nibbles and speeches to oil the proceedings, Mickos was pleased to meet fellow artists from around the world and discuss art and their practices with them.

If you aren’t too busy and find yourself at a loose end in New York, the exhibition runs until the 25 January, and as an added bonus, for the same entry fee you can see the “Demoiselles d’Avignon” by Picasso, “Starry Night” by Vincent and a host of other modern masterpieces too numerous to mention, five floors above “Greenberg Contradictions 1”, Mickos is on the low floor, of course, to catch the passing trade.

Despite accepting the accolades of the New York Art World, Mickos was quite busy in New York, after all it is the city that never sleeps, the following sketches were done in New York and the collage was completed shortly after Mickos’ return with material collected during the brief trip. The digital photograph was of course inspired by Cecil Beaton’s work for Vogue in 1951.

Hair by Victoria Price, shirt by M&S, suit by Florence and Fred, shoes by Clarke’s, painting(detail) by Mickos, wine and museum space by MoMA New York, Digital image.

We didn’t get to the happy ever after bit yet but I am sure, after this experience, that it is not far away. Oh and by the way, if you meet anyone that wants to buy a painting that has been exhibited in MoMa by a living artist be sure and give me a call.

My love as always

Mickos xx

25 Comments

  1. Carole Richardson 19 January 2018 at 9:33 am

    What a wonderful story. Many congratulations, Mickos.

    Reply
    1. Michael Whyte 26 January 2018 at 7:22 pm

      Hi Carole,

      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment.

      Mickos

      Reply
    1. Michael Whyte 26 January 2018 at 7:23 pm

      Hi Helen

      Thanks for your comment.

      Mickos

      Reply
  2. Arlene Sharp 20 January 2018 at 9:15 am

    Brilliant! Congratulations Mickos!

    Reply
    1. Michael Whyte 26 January 2018 at 7:27 pm

      Hi Arlene

      Thanks for the congratulations, it was a story I really enjoyed being part of

      Mickos

      Reply
  3. Sylvia 20 January 2018 at 10:44 am

    What an exciting read, there’s hope for all of us!

    Reply
    1. Michael Whyte 1 February 2018 at 9:27 am

      Hi Sylvia

      A New Hope, I like that, it’s catchy.

      Mickos

      Reply
  4. Steve Cussons 25 January 2018 at 5:42 pm

    Love it! Love it! Just goes to show nothing ventured, nothing gained. I was pretty impressed when one of my art mates made it into the Mall Galleries, but they can eat your dust!

    Reply
    1. Michael Whyte 26 January 2018 at 7:28 pm

      Hi Steve

      It was one great adventure, I am now planning the next one

      Mickos

      Reply
  5. sonia510727 25 January 2018 at 7:08 pm

    What a wonderful fairytale Mickos. Yes nothing ventured, nothing gained. Congratulations.

    Reply
    1. Michael Whyte 26 January 2018 at 8:48 pm

      Hi Sonia

      Thank you for your comment and taking the time to read the post. If you don’t shoot, you can’t score.

      Mickos

      Reply
  6. Deirdre Ni Argain 25 January 2018 at 8:37 pm

    A great story to start off the New Year, full of inspiration. congratulations

    Reply
    1. Michael Whyte 1 February 2018 at 9:25 am

      Hi Deirdre

      I am happy that you were inpired thank you so much for your comment.

      Mickos

      Reply
  7. Sue Parr 25 January 2018 at 10:17 pm

    Loved reading this and seeing your painting too. Huge congratulations Mickos what an amazing thing to have done!

    Reply
    1. Michael Whyte 26 January 2018 at 8:54 pm

      Hi Sue

      Thank you for reading this your lovely comment, it isn’t that amazing because the painting still belongs to me, it has huge provenance but as yet no buyer.

      Mickos

      Reply
  8. Jill Goodman 26 January 2018 at 9:26 am

    Brilliant – a delightful, inspiring story, and congratulations!

    Reply
    1. Michael Whyte 1 February 2018 at 9:23 am

      Hi Jill

      Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment

      Mickos

      Reply
  9. Anthony Carey 7 February 2018 at 10:13 pm

    Congratulations, and well done, and what a wonderful way of sharing the story

    Reply
    1. Michael Whyte 8 February 2018 at 10:19 pm

      Thank you very much Anthony for taking the time to read and comment

      Reply
      1. Anthony Carey 8 February 2018 at 10:24 pm

        I thought it was amazing news Michael, what an adventure, and the telling of it still has me smiling.

        Reply
  10. Angela Rogers 8 February 2018 at 3:29 pm

    A great fairytale. It’s wonderful to see students taking a leap and grabbing an opportunity. May you go far.

    Reply
    1. Michael Whyte 8 February 2018 at 10:17 pm

      Hi Angela

      Thank you very much,when the whole fairytale is told, you will have a staring role in the first act

      Mick

      Reply
  11. Michael Whyte 8 February 2018 at 10:17 pm

    Hi Angela

    Thank you very much,when the whole fairytale is told, you will have a staring role in the first act

    Mick

    Reply
  12. Mini Arora 17 February 2018 at 7:35 pm

    Wow Mickos! What a star artist and writer too! Congratulations on such a huge success.

    All the best,

    Reply

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