It's an admittedly easy target this many months into its run, but being that I had the rare day off today, I figured I might as well go check it out. I'm talking, of course, about the roundly derided "Punk: Chaos to Couture" exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. How could I not go?
The outrage has pretty much died down and no one's really making a fuss about it anymore, but I still felt obligated to check this thing out, given my affinity for the subject matter.
Obviously, we all have our own perceptions and associations about it, but from my vantage point, I'd say this show captured about as much of the genuine spirit of Punk as, say, Disney World's "It's a Small World After All" ride captures the authenticity of the planet's cultural diversity. The only things missing were the little boats.
And like a ride at Disney World, at the end of it, you're deposited directly into the gift shop. Doing my part, I procured myself a Richard Hell fridge magnet. After all, what better way to commemorate the iconoclasm of the Blank Generation than with a six dollar fridge magnet?
Snideness aside, I honestly did motor through "Punk: Chaos to Couture" pretty stealthily, finding the whole endeavor to be pretty staid and anaemic, reducing a whole cultural movement to -- quite literally -- window dressing. Funnily enough, the guards got very cross with me for taking that shot of the replica of the fabled CBGB bathroom to the left. But --- hey, isn't Punk Rock about saying 'fuck you' and breaking the rules, maaaaan? Walk it like you talk it, Metropolitan rent-a-cops!!
Put off by all that, I repaired to the other parts of the museum to slyly recreate my favorite scenes from "The Thomas Crown Affair." Also took a few moments to soak in the stunning Wisteria Dining Room (see below) which looks like its interior decor was crafted by the Cocteau Twins.
As for "Punk: Chaos to Couture"? Skip it.