As I mentioned in a previous post, I love modern art, but sometimes I have difficulty as it gets more, I won’t say obscure, but … modern. Unlike my lovely ladywife, I don’t have any issues with very abstract art like Mondrian or Pollock — in fact, I love it. Once the art starts becoming more installation-y and very abstract and starts feeling pretentious that’s when it becomes harder to relate to.
During our second floor of modern painting and sculpture in the Museum of Modern Art, things were starting to get rough. We had left the Van Gogh and Matisse and Klimt and moved into and then past Mondrian and Pollock and Jasper Johns and Andy Warhol. It was getting harder to keep Timmi’s eyes from rolling, but I was doing my best.
I was telling her about Bluebeard, by Kurt Vonnegut, and the lengths it goes to to describe what is art and what is not in the abstract expressionist movement, and just when I felt like I was making a little headway, we came around the corner and saw the piece to the right, called “Eurasia Siberian Symphony 1963 by Beuys”. Maybe the picture isn’t clear, so I’ll describe it…. it’s a goat/donkey on stilts with a balance beam attached to its fur and a triangle dangling from it in front of a blackboard with a polygon and some words written on it.
Obviously, it’s considered a master work of art, or it wouldn’t be in MoMa, but from a timing perspective, it couldn’t have been worse for me. It’s pretty hard to argue the deeper meaning of art, turn the corner, see this puppy, and still be able to continue your conversation with a straight face.
We decided to go to the photography floor after that.
We had a great day overall, which I suppose is getting repetitive and boring to read about so I’ll tell you a story from dinner that is at least a little weird.
We were in a pizza place in Little Italy enjoying a simple pizza and trying not to eavesdrop on the conversation going on behind us, but it was impossible.
The guy behind us had a lot of theories about a lot of things and he loved to talk. The one that I remember though was his rant about the way the NFL has been treating Michael Vick. It was way too harsh. After all, he figured, all Vick had done was kill some dogs … and pit bulls at that! Have you seen pit bulls, he asked, they’re the meanest ugliest dogs there are, and they’re just dogs!
After all, in this country, and I will go into quotes here, “You can kill a man. You can string him up and hang him. You can drag him in chains from the back of a car. OJ Simpson, he killed those people. But you can’t kill some dogs?”
I wanted to turn around and say that I was pretty sure that you couldn’t kill a man and drag him behind a car and NOT get suspended by the NFL, but I really didn’t think the point would hit home.