The Park Avenue Armory is that giant, red, castle-looking structure on the Upper East Side. I frequently Via by it, but finally went in this weekend. It’s an old armory-turned-museum, and since it’s not situated on “Museum Mile,” I feel it gets overlooked. In fact, this under-the-radar museum needs to be at the top of your list as far as New York museums go.
I believe that museums should be interactive. It’s just more fun. Plus, I learn more after being part of the experience. Interactive art is what the Armory is known for, and there’s a massive exhibit there right now through August 7th by Martin Creed ($15 well spent).
Creed took over the Armory for the building’s largest installation yet. The exhibit engages all the senses and best of all makes you laugh. It’s wild seeing Creed’s modern art media against historic relics, gilded ceilings and iron chandeliers that are the permanent structures of the Armory.
It’s a trippy, interactive adventure. As you go room to room, experiencing what Creed has to offer, it takes you back to the childhood years of pure curiosity. At times, Creed clearly pokes fun at you, with the irony of museum-goership. At one point, there is a room filled with crumpled paper, delicately showcased as though it was treasured art. It was hilarious.
One of my faves was when a garage door at the end of a humongous dark hall opens up, and you observe a bright “moment” on the bustling streets of NYC. It was like a watching a moving art canvas.
I don’t want to give it all away, but just know going into it that there’s no pattern. Go in the rooms you feel like going into, then go into them again because something may have changed. Like….a band might be marching through it now, or a screen might start yelling at you to “Fuck Off,” or you might get lost in a room full of balloons. Stick around, and follow your curiosity.
*I received complimentary admission to the Armory for this post