Goggling the Guggenheim and Getting Crunched

The nearest chiropractors are in Bilbao, an hour and a half drive from where we are staying in Ezcaray. Having had some not-so-good experiences with chiropractors, I was reluctant to see someone I didn’t know, but my rib was giving me a lot of pain so i gritted my teeth, called one (she spoke English very well–bonus points!), and made an appointment.

We hadn’t planned on visiting Bilbao, but my appointment was in the afternoon, so that meant we could spend the rest of the day at the spectacular Guggenheim Museum. The museum had a Jeff Koons exhibition going on. My previous exposure to Koons had been a vast white ceramic sculpture of Michael Jackson and his chimpanzee Bubbles. The white ceramic had highlights in gold, making it look like those awful figurines your Aunt Gertrude loved to collect.

As it turned out, I thought the exhibit was interesting and fun. My favorite was “Puppy,” a towering sculpture completely covered in living flowers that sits in front of the museum, followed by “Tulips,” also outdoors. There were several other artists represented, of course, including someone who does “fog sculptures,” and a “fire sculptor” (which we didn’t get to see because it only comes on after dark).

This view of the Guggenheim from the street shows how huge "Puppy" is

This view of the Guggenheim from the street shows how huge “Puppy” is

 

 

 

 

"Tulips" by Jeff Koons. This looks very light and insubstantial, but it's quite large--and made of steel.

“Tulips” by Jeff Koons. This looks very light and insubstantial, but it’s quite large–and made of steel.

Another installation i thought noteworthy was a gigantic ( mean VAST, enormous beyond belief) series of curving steel sculptures by Richard Serra. The title had something to do with the impermanence of time.You’re supposed to walk inside them, and it is a very disorienting experience. Sometimes, it felt like walking down one of the tiny, winding streets of Seville, but a Seville painted by Magritte–ancient and deserted, where there should be people. I actually got disoriented and started walking back through the exhibition, thinking I was going in the opposite direction. Sometimes the visual juxtaposition of the curving, rusted steel walls and the gallery itself looked like abstract paintings to me. (See the picture below.)

I saw the chiropractor, a diminutive woman who had lived and worked in the San francisco Bay Area. She put my rib back where it belonged (ayiyiyiyiyi!!!!) and charged me about one-third what my regular chiro does. I’m sore but feeling much better now.

Here’s the photos. Gotta go work on my next novel. I’m thinking about killing off one of my characters, BTW. (Channelling G.R.R.M.?)

"Puppy" by Jeff Koons. Loved this!

“Puppy” by Jeff Koons. Loved this!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Closeup of "Puppy"

Closeup of “Puppy”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Inside a Richard Serra sculpture. Yes, you are supposed to walk inside.

Inside a Richard Serra sculpture. Yes, you are supposed to walk inside.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spider sculpture at the Guggenheim. I didn't see who the artist was. Barbarian that I am.

Spider sculpture at the Guggenheim. I didn’t see who the artist was. Barbarian that I am.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After visiting the chiropractor, we retired to this cool old bar in Bilbao for much needed copas de vino tinto.

After visiting the chiropractor, we retired to this cool old bar in Bilbao for much needed copas de vino tinto.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tom in Bilbao bar.

Tom in Bilbao bar.

8 thoughts on “Goggling the Guggenheim and Getting Crunched

  1. I was wondering if it was always a bar. Really nice!! Glad you’re feeling better after the chiro. Loved the Puppy, also. I can’t even keep my potted flowers alive!! How do they do this?
    (smile)

    Like

    • Yes, it was a huge relief on many levels. Of course, there’s the upcoming shock of finding out just how much this vacation cost. But it’s been worth it! (She says, not knowing quite what the tab will be yet.)

      Like

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