Wednesday, August 11, 2010

What matters

I have found that there are, literally, thousands of things that are more fun to do than strip your front porch. Weed the driveway, clean out closets, go to the local art museum. With so many dazzling choices, I went with the art museum option. My good friend and I have been talking about doing this for several years. Last time we tried, the museum closed 15 minutes after we arrived. The porch can end of the summer mantra:)

We decided to visit the room entitled "Changing Exhibits" first, as it seemed so fleeting. At the risk of giving away too much, this is absolutely not a bad thing. As you walk into the gallery, your eyes are drawn to a big pine box in the middle of the room. Upon reflection, the viewer sees a few tufts of hay sticking out of a small hole (about orange circumference) drilled into the box. Eureka, this is a pine box covering a bale of hay. Hay that we would not have known existed, except that the artist drilled a hole, albeit a tiny hole in the box. Here we go.....Worcester Art Museum - What Matters

Next, your eyes are drawn toward a shelf on the wall. On that shelf, are several painted bricks. Ah, the starkness of the human condition or maybe the fecundity of the human condition, hard to say.

In the corner of the room, leaning against the white wall, was a fur-covered hula-hoop. (actually a steel hoop) Artist out of Glasgow, using a reclaimed ermine stole. I don't know if the hula-hoop was reclaimed. Here is where I fall into the wormhole: How does one define art? Is it a thing of beauty that allows one to transcend boundaries? Or is it a piece that allows you to have a conversation with yourself? The fuzzy hula-hoop allowed me a greater appreciation of the Rembrandt I saw down the hall. I daresay I will still be talking about the fuzzy hula-hoop on down the road. I fear I may have been hoodwinked by a wily Scottish artist into a slight appreciation of modern art.

I know my tastes are not sophisticated and with some time and effort, I could come to appreciate the post-modern angst represented by the installation I saw today. I admire the courage of an artist who hangs plastic bottles from the ceiling and demands that we see beyond the fact that if I stole this work of art, it could be replaced out of the recycling bin. Modern art forces you to transcend your own aesthetic, but here is the thing... I like my aesthetic. It runs to the Dutch painters, especially the frozen winter scenes. I'm a fan of anything cold, dark, gray, and forlorn. Van Gogh's sunflowers don't do it for me but Picasso's blue period is riveting.

So, just like literature, love, music, and is personal. I am not a student or fan of modern art but I admire every artist making art. So rock on with your fuzzy hula-hoops and your painted bricks. Art matters.


  1. You are spot on--art is supposed to garner some sort of reaction from you, and the fuzzy hoola hoop surely did. I'd say the artist succeeded. Now, where did I put this morning's coffee grounds? I think they'd look great displayed on my mantel!

  2. " is weird."
    - direct quote from the Hubby.