the art institute of chicago

When I was little, we used to sporadically visit my aunt and uncle who lived in Orange County. My uncle was an artist, an architect by trade. I remember loving being in his studio, seeing his drawing pens, pencils, charcoal, his pastels, his sketches, his portfolios full of art and building drafts. I always felt so inspired, even as a child, of his lifestyle, of his talent. I was so young, yet very aware of it. I grew up seeing his sketches all over the house I grew up in; I still have a painting he gave me on my birthday a year before he passed.  

My mother has always loved to draw and paint; she is a self-taught graphic designer. She started in the 80’s, doing work for what was our family business, a print shop. She did everything old school... by hand. Art has always moved me, been a part of me, since I was a child. I remember not having internet and whenever we would go to the mall I would find myself sitting in Borders looking at beautiful paintings in books.

On our vacation to Chicago, we were looking to kill time and decided to visit the Art Institute of Chicago.  I had no idea what to expect; in no way do I consider myself more than an art fan (not a ~snob – I DO NOT KNOW MY SHIT, I am by nature a visual person and will tell you honestly “ah, yeah, that guy! I love this! What’s his name?”– I’m jealous of art snobs/connoisseurs who know who made what painting/furniture/sculpture and on what year, but that’s not who I am at all. *ends unexpected disclaimer.*), I went in with an open mind expecting to see pieces I’d never seen before in my life.

As we walked into the first room, there it was... “A Sunday Afternoon On The Island Of La Grande Jatte”, my palms were sweaty, I was in disbelief, as we kept walking around we saw “Nighthawks”, then “American Gothic” - amazing. I never, ever, ever thought I’d see the work of my favorite artists, I mean, Van Gogh, his self-portrait, his bedroom; pieces from Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Monet, Dali, Picasso, to name a (very) few in PERSON. I met a lot of my dead heroes, in a span of 3-4 hours, the whole experience overwhelmed me, and as stupid as I felt, I couldn’t help but get emotional about it.

Is that what art does to you? I think it’s beautiful. This really has been one of the most memorable experiences I’ve had in my life. And you will most definitely find me there whenever we visit Chicago again. After all, I need to say “Hi” to all my friends.

We took some video where you’ll see more of the pieces they had, I forgot to take pictures of a lot of my favorites but we still managed to give you an image heavy post. Hope you enjoy and if you’re near this institution definitely take the opportunity to experience the beautiful paintings that have been created for the last couple hundred years.

Are you an art-emotional mush ball like me? 

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