Find your first love at the New Museum

July 19, 2010 3:05:06 PM PDT
An interactive museum exhibit at "The New Museum" is having visitors think back to their first love and helping them to capture what they looked like.

Bijou Vaultz is about to sketch a woman she hasn't met, Ben Tischler's first love.

"You can start describing her facially wise," said Vaultz.

Through a series of questions, Vaultz is able to make her sketch by getting a sense of the woman's features.

"Is it a triangle or does it go straight down," she asked.

Tischler helps her to capture the face by referring to mug shots.

This process shows how forensic sketch artists work. Normally, they do this at a police station, not a museum. Usually they're creating an image of a perp, not a lover.

The experience is called First Love and is part of a larger show by the Brazilian artist Rivane Neuenschwander.

The sketching takes about 2 hours.

In Tischler's case, his first love turned out to be his wife.

"We've been together for 19 years [and] fell in love when we were about 20," Tischler said.

After the sketch, he'll bring her to the New Museum, to see her portrait on the wall.

"I think she'll say that's fantastic because it looks like her," said Tischler.

There are other participatory elements of Neuenschwander's show at the New Museum. Rain Rains offers a meditative experience of dripping water. In another exhibit, a colorful room, are 10 thousand ribbons, each with a wish on it. Visitors choose a ribbon and take it with them.

Online: The New Museum