While watching the archaeologists (see video) removing dirt to uncover past art, I saw how much my sculpting work is related to theirs: I only remove the stone to find the future shape inside.
Most of us grow up playing; it’s a great way of learning. In adulthood playing is a luxury, maybe that’s why some people say “let’s play” when they mean “let’s have sex”.
The idea of disguising playground for adults, make them look like something more mature, intellectual, was a great idea. What I find a bad idea is to use a museum space for this purpose.
For some adults, the museum is a spiritual temple, a place of recollection, meditation, contemplation, admiration for the few good things humanity manage to produce.
That is why, when I enter a museum (even of modern, contemporary art), I still expect to be face to face with works of Art, even if some rooms are occupied with unmade beds, sliced sharks, those kind of repetitive ready-mades that the world has seen ever since the Dada made a point. But hey, a museum might decide to show the malaise of the contemporary world so bring your crap inside, we’ll call it art.
But when the crap is actually crap actually, imitation of crap/poop/turd/shit whatever you prefer to call it, I want my money back, because the time I took to go to a museum and figure out that I must leave immediately, nobody can return.
You might say “why didn’t you read the website, see which event is taking place?”.
When you have a friend that you meet from time to time, even if he/she surprises you with something new, you don’t expect to meet Bob and actually bump into Donald Trump. I like to just walk into a museum which inspired me in the past.
The reason of this post is to say Yuck! This contemporary museum unpleasantly Trumped me with a playground for adults. Gigantic replicas of turds, polystyrene where adults can play with an excuse. Critics (many in numbers in the world, as job title, very few deserving the title) will serve you with the regular pompous words: come experience, top artists, challenge the notion of, juxtapose concepts, crap, crap, crap.
This museum even built a small pool on the roof to allow people to “experience rowing” – in a country full of canals, boats and a sea shore.
I will let the pictures speak for themselves but this time, all my thumbs point downwards. I wonder if any other museum will challenge the notion of puke, the one that some other exhibitions of contemporary art use as expression of appreciation. Will anyone expose my regurgitation?
The Old Masters of the Renaissance, viewed from today’s perspective, were wrong about the subjects. Most, not all of them. But they did what they could, to earn the buck, for instance portraits of boring rich men. That’s when they had fun painting amazing robes, though most of that work was done by the studio apprentice.
They painted old men in frocks, with tiaras on their heads, as the Popes and Cardinals were the main commissioners. (but watch that glow in the ring on the arthritic hand!)
They painted fat babies pointing at the sky, Madonnas holding them with sadness because, as the church preaches, they knew their baby was going to be crucified at some point in the future.
They painted fat, ugly women from Amsterdam or Mona Lisas, genetically deformed kings or semi-nude women modeled from men (not sure Michelangelo ever saw a naked woman, not that he was much interested in the subject).
Follow the subject and you will know in which year the work was executed. Because painting prostitutes was done much later, unless you name was the Damned Caravaggio.
But the Old Masters knew how to work like gods! Some of them, not all.
That’s why we go and stare at fat babies and Mona Lisas. Let’s be honest, Mona Lisa is not really the woman you’d like to hang out with, in today’s iconography she’d be a hair salon worker in a small French town. That’s where she probably lost her eyebrows.
But just like a coiffeuse from a village can be visually unappealing yet an intriguing human being, so are the classical paintings.
There’s so much happening on that small canvas: the layers of colors, mixed and applied in secret methods, the eyes of the subject, the lights that roll the story like a movie, the size of the painting, all that make you listen. Mostly, they make you listen to yourself: emotions and thoughts bouncing inside your soul, in response to what the work of art throws at you.
At the end of the day, it’s just a canvas with some colors on it, nothing more spectacular, in terms of material presence. The work itself though, functions like a micro- and telescope, bringing together the outside with your inside. And the Scientist doing that is called the Artist.
The Museum is the place where we’re lucky to see works otherwise inaccessible, unless you’re a zillionaire who collects and even takes the time to speak with such works of art.
Save for the church works translating to illiterate people the word of the scripture, before the advent of the Museum, the art was made for private eyes: study rooms, salons, boudoirs.
The work was subject to light changes during the day and the season. A good work had continuously something else to reveal; the eyes watching belonged to a person that continuously changed.
That’s why Art was and sometimes is Alive, that’s how I try to savor it.
Governments can sponsor wars but not free entry to ALL musea?
Do you pay to enter a church? The Museum is the Church of the Rational, Atheist Human Being, who is a Spiritual Being.
The Museum is his Church and should be accessible at no cost.
Being in the presence of Art your humanity (or lack of it) is illuminated. Religions impose “don’t kill, don’t steal” because an immaginary super power is watching you and will punish you if you do otherwise.
Art gives you the freedom to look inside yourself and decide if you want to kiss or steal. Which, as I was pointing out, speaks of your humanity or lack thereof.
Evolution is either Spiritual or not at all.
Free entry musea in Europe:
London : National Gallery,
Victoria and Albert Museum
Paris: Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris
Berlin: Wall Memorial
Copenhagen: National Museum
Nice: Musée des Beaux-Arts
Rome: Museum of Liberation
Reykjavik: Museum of Photography
Los Angeles: Getty Center
Washington DC: The Smithsonian
New York: The Metropolitan (free or “pay what you can”)
Huston: The Menil Collection and Rothko Chapel
Tokyo: National Art Center
Buenos Aires: Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes
Edinburgh: Scottish National Gallery
Amsterdam: street pissoirs (or u can just piss in the canals)