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Something More Beautiful Than Art

From October 12, 2014 to February 10, 2015, The Museum of Modern Art in New York City proudly exhibited Henri Matisse, The Cut-Outs. But there was beauty beyond the art if you chose to see it.

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During the final decade of Henri Matisse's life, he never let his passion for art waver. He persistently trudged on, resorting to complete simplicity: scissors and paper. However, his work was far from simple. The Cut-Outs are an incredible, intricate work of art, that have been on display in New York City at The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) for the past 3 months. I went to see the Exhibit on Saturday, January 24th, and found myself almost as compelled by the people, as by the art.

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After waiting in line for close to 40 minutes, I entered the exhibit on the 6th floor of MoMA with wide eyes and an overwhelming feeling of hope. If Matisse could create a life-changing movement on his death bed, then there is power within each of us to accomplish all we wish to do. At first, I was mesmerized by the art; the beauty of each cut, the accuracy of each placement, the mixture of colors-but then, I found myself mesmerized by something else-the reactions of the people. As I took my eyes off the art, and began to look around the room, I noticed so many different things, but all at once. There was the foreign couple who was clearly only there to see some "famous" art, the kids from school trying desperately to rack up some extra credit points, a middle-aged couple who were very interested in the Museum's commentary of the art, and lastly, the most beautiful duo I have ever seen.

Original Photo, Lindsey Peterson

As I watched the young woman bend down to the elderly woman's wheelchair, I contemplated approaching them and asking their story-Why were they here? How did they know each other? What did this Exhibit mean to them? But then, as I attempted to answer each of these questions myself, I realized that this was the hope that Matisse wanted each of us to see. He was provoking us to ask questions and draw our own conclusions on his "paintings with scissors". What were these shapes? Why the colors? How did he decide on the placement? These were all questions that had answers, but answers that only had meaning to me. I decided not to approach the duo, as I had already written a beautiful story for the two of them in my own mind, a story that only I will know, but a story I will never forget.

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