Art is big business in New York. The city is home to some of the largest —and richest— cultural institutions in the world. If you like the visual arts, you can spend weeks viewing some of the world’s most famous artworks as you walk around institutions that are just as famous. The Met, MoMA, the Whitney and the Guggenheim are among New York’s top tourist attractions and welcome millions of visitors every year. That’s a lot of people doing a lot of walking around galleries.
If that all seems too pedestrian for your tastes, New York also offers countless niche or ‘alternative’ arts spaces alongside one of the world’s best collections of street art. At the other end of the financial scale (or political spectrum), the Chelsea Art District houses commercial galleries, each professing to have the best in contemporary art for sale— if you can afford it, and you probably can’t. Ironically, these galleries are free to browse, whereas the major art museums charge at least $25 for a ticket. While the wonders of the interweb allow you to visit many of these collections online for free, seeing these works in the flesh is, arguably, priceless.
On my recent trip to New York, I took advantage of what is on offer to get a major art ‘fix’. What follows are some of my experiences, photographs and opinions.