I know my kid, and I know the Walker collection pretty well, so I should be able to predict what’s going to appeal to him. I don’t always get it right. Here are a few surprise favorites:
What I Thought Would be Fun: Claes Oldenburg’s bright yellow, giant-sized Geometric Mouse on the terrace outside Gallery 8.
What Really was Fun: Sol Lewitt’s room-size paintings of geometric shapes that cover the walls inside the café.
Why? O. liked the mouse, but wasn’t wowed by it. He was learning his shapes at school, so circles, squares, and triangles were a big deal in his world. It was exciting for him to see the shapes writ large and to realize that a grown-up artist liked them as much as he did.
What I Thought Would be Fun: Sigmar Polke’s fairy-tale painting of falling snow, Mrs. Autumn and Her Two Daughters.
What Really was Fun: Julie Mehretu’s super-detailed painting, Babel Unleashed.
Why? Like many kids, O. loves maps and aerial views and is crazy about airports and construction sites. While it looks unfamiliar and chaotic from a distance, up close, Mehretu’s painting is packed with details that O. finds fascinating. It was like a super-sized seek-and-find puzzle.
What Really was Fun: Dolphin Oracle II, the interactive talking dolphin by Piotr Szyhalski and Richard Shelton.
Why? It’s an interactive talking dolphin.