Yesterday I went to the Art Institute of Chicago with my parents, aunt, and uncle. I love the Art Institute. Between many art class field trips and my mom being an art teacher, I’ve been there so many times that I no longer need a map to navigate it. Definitely in the double digits. But they had built a whole new modern art wing since the last time I visited, so I was excited to check that out.
Now, I probably have more of an appreciation for modern art than your average person. Up until my senior year of high school, I thought I was going to be an artist, not a scientist. I’ve taken many advanced classes, won art awards, yadda yadda. There is plenty of modern art I really enjoy, including some crazy abstract/weird/symbolic stuff.
But man, I just don’t get some modern art. Seriously, what the hell?That is an old oversized car mat someone bent and pinned. And it is now hanging in the Art Institute of Chicago. WTF. And this wasn’t the weirdest stuff. There was a black canvas, a pile of rocks, a painting of a date, a video of an electric guitar being drug through grass…
I’m sorry, but just because you were the first person to think to do something doesn’t make it good art. Nor does writing up some flowery bullshit post-hoc explanation of what deep symbolism your piece has. Gah, artist pet peeve.
Some of the stuff there looked comparable or even worse than stuff I did as a toddler. For example, The First Part of the Return from Parnassus by Cy Twombly:
“Cy Twombly’s famously inimitable art is tensely balanced between expressively abstract and suggestively pictorial impulses. His work originated under the auspices of Abstract Expressionism in the late 1940s and early 1950s and advanced uniquely along lines afforded by its freedoms. Twombly’s entire enterprise is characterized by unruly marks—stammering, energetic, and raw—that merge drawing, painting, writing, and symbolic glyphs. Scrawled, overwritten, erased, or willfully misspelled, words cite people, places, events, and stories nominally derived from Greco-Roman culture and history, especially literature, poetry, and myth.”
Write the best summary you can of my piece that would make it worthy of an art museum. “Best” can either be most humorous, most deep, most similar to the BS descriptions we’re used to hearing. This is art, I’m not going to make strict rules!
The one I like the most will get a quick sketch by me of something of their choice. I’ll post my favorites in a couple of days.