Sunday, July 12, 2009

This Is Art?

Let me start by saying that I am an artist. I appreciate all different kinds of art. I even consider myself relatively knowledgeable on the subject, but after our eagerly anticipated visit to the Art Institute of Chicago's Modern Wing I found myself asking, um, myself the question "Is this Art?" The main gallery featured works by an artist named Cy Twombly, and they consisted of crudely constructed wooden boxes scribbled on and slathered in gesso, as well as some wall-sized canvases at which it looked like he had hurled wet paint-filled rags.

It's a sad commentary that one of the highlights of the day was an audio-visual exhibit called "Tortured Clown" that was basically a small room inside of which several monitors showed looped videos of clowns screaming, throwing tantrums, sitting on the toilet, etc. We wanted to take a photo of the poor guard stationed outside of the exhibit trying valiantly to not go completely out of his mind. We were going to call our piece "Tortured Guard"...

Anyway, to be fair, there were many, many incredible, inspiring works as well, but somehow it's easier (or more fun?) to remember the clowns and the kitty litter (didn't I mention the kitty litter?)


  1. Not that it answers any questions, but I had to read this in grad school: "Why Is That Art?
    Aesthetics and Criticism of Contemporary Art" by
    Terry Barrett. It talks about stuff.

  2. Thanks, I'd better check that out!

  3. OK...Dad and I have to get to new wing. Sounds, well, interesting.