To celebrate my husband’s birthday today, we headed down to the Museum of Contemporary Art to check out the “David Bowie Is” exhibit in it’s final weeks. My husband is a mega-Bowie-fan, and decided a few months ago that he wanted to view the exhibit – in it’s only U.S. stop here in Chicago – for his birthday, so we’d bought tickets (with a scheduled admission time) early and had been gearing up for a long time. This morning, we headed down to the Magnificent Mile area of Chicago to the MCA to get our Bowie on. The exhibit is, simply, stunning. An intense retrospective of the art and career of David Bowie from his beginnings to now, it’s packed with costumes from music videos, handwritten lyrics, art prints, video screens, and you’re given a headset when you walk in that syncs to wherever you are in the exhibit, surrounding you with the prolific music of Mr. Bowie through the years. (Photography isn’t allowed inside the exhibit, FYI.)
My husband spent nearly three hours in the exhibit, checking out every little detail and loving it. It was his birthday, so I took on full parenting duties while inside the exhibit. Our son is three, so his admission was free with ours, and he did a game little job of viewing the exhibit, even if we only spent about 45 minutes inside. His favorite part was sitting on the floor watching the music videos. (We watched “DJ” almost four full times.)
Once we stepped out of the Bowie exhibit, the MCA was overrun with families and kids as it was one of their Family Days. There were art tables and booths spread throughout the bottom two floors of the museum, and snacks and videos and all sorts of things to keep kids amused and introduce them to art. While my husband enjoyed the Bowie, kiddo and I went all over the place doing activities – like coloring a giant map of MCA, making a creature catcher, and getting his face painted just like Mr. Bowie.
I hadn’t been to the MCA since 2009, when I went with my then-fiancee and some friends around Halloween to see a production of “Frankenstein” The Hypocrites were doing. (Frankly, we all hated the show. The baby doll heads hanging from the ceiling when we entered the performance space should have probably tipped me off. We still talk about it once in a while.)
Today’s visit to MCA was way more fun, and it’s definitely a place I would visit again – on a “Family Day.” I don’t think Contemporary Art is really my thing, but hey – different strokes for different folks, right? It’s a beautiful facility with an energetic and friendly staff, and I encourage folks to head there and spend a few hours. Also, they’re always free on Tuesdays for Illinois residents, so really. ;)