My mother, Lynn Kroll, would drag us kids to museums all the time when I was growing up. Consequently, I go to museums all the time and drag my two daughter to them...if they haven't already been tot he exhibition. I feel like I'm learning. I'm an art snob anyway but that's what I know.
Even though I have been to countless exhibitions only a few stand out...1972 Diane Arbus curated by John Szarkowski at MOMA; 2003 Diane Arbus Revelations. San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; I was living in SF at the time and would go every 3 weeks and visit only one gallery of her exhibit then leave. I got progressively more and more depressed because this was the work I or anyone else should be doing. On the last day...in the last gallery I was on the edge of giving up my profession when I felt the presence of a body next to me...very close to me looking at the same Arbus image on the wall. Not wanting to be obvious, I slowly moved my eyes up from her heels to her stockings to her handsome short skit to her severe blouse to finally her face....BUT it wasn't a her ...it was a him with a beard. I turned to him, smiling, and said "you saved my career as a photographer...I was so humbled by Arbus' portraits I was about to give up BUT YOU are more interesting then anything on the walls!"
I had the same terrible existenial dread on a Neal Cassidy gonzo drive across the states from Tucson to NYC. I walk up in the cheapest hotel just east of Amarillo, Tx knowing I was broke with no prospects of money, borrowing as I went down the road...why?...etc etc. I came out of my room and came upon the cleaning couple with their cart filled with cleaning products (thank you Tom Waits).Their faces carried all the sorrow and pain and futility of the 99%. I aske dif I could take their picture and they said yes. When she found out I was from Tucson she said she had `tramped' there. He told me he had once been a photographer. When I left I left them some money and he some film. Later I was eating at Subway's off 40 and he came in smiling saying that wass the best tip he had ever had.