Art World Missed Connections: Monumental Sexual Tension at MoMA PS1, and More


As they do in summer, taking refuge from the heat and humidity in cool, air-conditioned museum galleries, New Yorkers are evidently weathering our exceptional string of cold weather systems by taking to well-heated art institutions, where their warmed hearts are leading them into all kinds of interesting situations. This week’s batch of Art World Missed Connections includes a young man belatedly returning a woman’s affections in order to get free admission to MoMA — which, at $25, seems totally fair — and a young lady who improbably turned the disturbing sexual energy of MoMA PS1‘s about-to-close Mike Kelley retrospective into grounds for a romantic pursuit, and more.

We’ll begin at PS1, where a visitor’s desire for romance was fanned rather than extinguished by the nostalgia-tinged psycho-sexual roller-coaster that is the Mike Kelley retrospective. Her post, “Mike Kelley Retrospective, Saturday – w4m – 23 (MOMA PS1),” recounts:

You caught my eye from across the room.

You: medium build, disheveled hair and some scruff. Just my type. You were wearing jeans, a sweater, boots and a dark overcoat. Hip style. You may have been wearing glasses. When we locked eyes I felt a strong sexual tension, one I didn’t think possible with a stranger. It was brief but monumental. Did you feel it too?

You could be taken or emotionally unavailable, I could be crazy, but if you are reading this, please contact me and give me the chance to get to know you. We could even just talk about the exhibit. Write back and tell me what striking feature you remember about me.

Mysterious, dark-coat wearing dude: Please respond to the above post! If for no other reason than because you could end up telling your grand-kids that you fell in love over Mike Kelley, and that would be incredible.

Here’s one PS1-borne almost-connection that need not be re-connected, as it revolves around possibly the most mood-killingly mundane subject of conversation. Take it away, “PS1 – Sunday Sessions – Mike Kelley Exhibit – w4m (MoMA PS1)” author:

You and your friend were sitting along the wall behind my 2 girlfriends and me in the dome during the Sunday Session meditation. We all walked out together, talked about parallel parking…I wanted to get your number but it was so cold we ran to our car. Would love to see you again.

You were shocked when you heard the type of vehicle I can parallel park…what was it?

Hm… what an enticing set-up. Was it a red, four-wheel-drive, convertible WHO THE HELL CARES?!

Let’s move right along to a pleasantly straight-forward post following some kind of special event at MoMA. The author of “Catering Event At The MOMA Museum Last Night – m4m (Midtown West)” recounts:

I think you’re hot!
This took place at the stated subject line.

You’re not the type of many words yet you appear
curious when you’re around me.
I don’t know what your deal is, but you’re appealing
to my eyes. I am genuinely interested in getting to
know you rather than hook up…
I don’t want to give out too much info. here, but I’ll share
this much! You were wearing all black as I was too! lol

Your secret admirer hoping you’re into guys ; )

For the record, including the sentence “I think you’re hot” in a Missed Connection is redundant, as that’s clearly a large part of the impetus — if not the only impetus — for writing such a post in the first place. (Although we’re holding out hope for a Missed Connection that begins “I think you’re ugly!”)

And, lastly, we’d like to applaud this chap for writing a completely honest post to a woman he seems mainly interested in because she’ll get him into MoMA for free. His post, “melissa – m4w – 24,” makes quite clear that the author is more interested in Ileana Sonnabend than he is in Melissa:

i will take you up on that offer of free moma admission.

partly because you seem like great friend material
but also because i really want to see the sonnabend show.

Stay classy, art-lovers.

— Benjamin Sutton (@bhsutton)

(Image: Detail from Sidney Harold Meteyard, “Hope Comforting Love in Bondage,” 1901. Birmingham Museums Trust, via Google Cultural Institute.)