Text SFMOMA and Get Bacon Art on Demand
Hurry up with my damn croissant art.
In between tweets about the latest episode of The Bachelorette and Trump Jr.'s emails, you may have heard about SFMOMA's texting service. The museum's collection is gargantuan—so much so that it can usually only show about 5% of it at a time—SFMOMA says that to display all 34,678 pieces, they'd have to construct another 17 SFMOMAs. So, in an effort to provide more people with the ability to see more pieces of art, they launched Send Me SFMOMA. To use it, all you have to do is text the number 572-51 with the phrase "send me" followed by a word, color, or, yes, even emoji. If there's a match, SFMOMA texts back an image, followed by a caption of the art. It's a delight, and a nice break from all those texts you get asking you to do things you'd rather not do.
Because we are Professional Breakfast Journalists over here at Extra Crispy, I decided to put the service to a little breakfast test. What kind of breakfast themed art could I get back? Would it be familiar stuff, or art that's new to me? Would the service be overrun by bacon art, or would eggs take the top prize? Could I possibly, just possibly make a feast for the eyes?
The good news is there's a lot to be found using the SFMOMA service. Here's a glimpse:
First I went for a classic diner combo of coffee and bacon. (I got this bacon result, from the series British Food by Martin Parr, a whole bunch, and you can see why.) Pretty solid:
Then I went for the slightly more dainty meal of tea and toast:
The simple request of "Send me *egg emoji*" got me this piece of art by Laurie Simmons, a.k.a. Lena Dunham's mom:
There were a few failures. No art could be found for "peanut butter," "pastry," or "brunch." When I looked up jam, I got an image of a log jam, and when I searched jelly, I got a (very cool) photo of a jellyfish. Similarly, when I texted a plea for butter, I got butterflies instead. There seem to be only two images for "breakfast" itself: Yasumasa Morimura's "Self-Portrait/After Audrey Hepburn 1," which depicts the artist as Holly Golightly from "Breakfast at Tiffany's," and an black and white photo of a billboard for Carole Lombard's "Love Before Breakfast" by Walker Evans.
However, there are images for eggs and fruit aplenty. Martin Parr's almost-too-close portraits of food come up a lot. And I learned about a lot of modern artists that I didn't know about before—it was a little Modern Art 101 on my iPhone screen.
Sending demand after demand for breakfast foods (without saying please!) made me feel a little bit like "Hurry up with my damn croissant"-era Kanye, and I will admit to loving it. Especially when it means that you end up with masterpieces in your pocket.