On my last day in Denver I made a quick trip to the Denver MCA. There was an exhibit on called Myopia, by Mark Mothersbaugh. You may know him from Devo. Or as a composer of a lot of the music for Wes Anderson's films. Or PeeWee's Playhouse? Dude is awesome. And incredibly prolific, which I found out during the course of my visit.
Not only is he musically a genius (his score for Scrapping and Yelling, from The Royal Tenenbaums mirrors the score of Let Me Tell You About My Boat, from The Life Aquatic), he's a talented inventor, printmaker, writer, illustrator, rug-maker, musical-instrument-creator, and general all-around fashionable dude (see his eyewear collection coming out this year!). The name of the exhibit, Myopia, comes from his condition, undiagnosed until he was 8 which left him unable to see anything unless it was very close to him. In one poignant explanation he recalls driving home with his father after his first pair of glasses were fitted and marvelling at things in the distance- tree tops and smokestacks- the sun! His artwork was greatly influenced by this, his earliest work at Kent University was mainly miniature prints and rubber stamps- things you had to get really close to see. Fascinating stuff, especially his work with mirrored images and repeated patterns.
I really enjoyed walking around the exhibit, listening to the various brightly-coloured record players placed around, reading extracts from his journals (he has super nice handwriting, too. Is there anything he doesn't do well?), and watching clips of early Devo performing. Another highlight was the room containing over 30,000 postcard-sized artworks he has created nearly every day. He adds 1-25 daily, and the collection was a mix of humour, political commentary, random doodlings, mirror- images, quirky observations and basically Mark Mothersbaugh in paper form.
The MCA itself is a lovely building, and from the rooftop terrace (I braved its slick surface even though it was covered with snow and I nearly went down twice) you have a great view of downtown Denver and up to the Highlands in the other direction. I had the most yummy panini from the café, and though my visit was slightly marred by a family with a rowdy son named Diego (I know this because they screamed his name the ENTIRE TIME I was there), it was a great way to spend a few hours- and get out of the cold! It was also one of the best exhibits I've been to in ages. If you're in Denver, I suggest going to take a peek! Also, big ups to Britain for the Tim Noble and Susan Webster-created rotating heart sculpture Toxic Schizophrenia permanently located outside the building. Get in!