Today I’m taking a little departure from gardens, or California history, or sharing adventures with my family.
I subscribe to a variety of arts and museum-related email alerts and other on-line information sources. These cyber- notices, along with an avid scouring of the newspaper, provide an informed basis for me to decide if I’d like to follow with a visit.
I realized this week that by nature of my choices I could say that I make judgements all the time about what art installations or exhibits are “worthy” of my time.
My interest is in how we communicate around our choices. I so often hear criticism coming from corners where one person’s individual artistic style conflicts with another’s sensibilities. Individual choice is important to me, and I wonder why we feel the need to turn up our noses at what we don’t personally enjoy.
I recently came across a quote from Indonesian author, Toba Beta, “If you hate difference, you’ll be bored to death.”
I like this quote.
It came to mind when I read a short article about George Lucas and his private collection of fine art, illustrations, comic art, as well as Star Wars production artwork and costumes he is hoping to showcase when he opens a personal art gallery in the San Francisco area.
The author of the article couldn’t wait to include a line or two of disclaimer.
Perhaps it’s important to prepare oneself for the idea the collection may not be quite edgy enough for a sophisticated San Francisco crowd. The collection was described as sentimental and romanticized.
What does that mean?
I don’t know that much about the particulars , but Lucas shared he hoped to bring families together to experience everything from Norman Rockwell, N.C. Wyeth and Maxfield Parrish to fashion, cinematic and digital art.
Sounds good to me!
Lucas also said, “You either look at the world through cynical eyes or through idealistic eyes.” He mentioned “fun” as a component of what he wants to offer. Family-friendly and “edgy” don’t always mix.
In the past year I’ve enjoyed several examples of large-scale installation art.
Last March we followed the trail of Michael Heizer’s Levitated Mass on its route to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA).
The shrink-wrapped boulder was followed by thousands of enthusiastic supporters as it took about a week to move through busy Los Angeles streets.
While some cheered, others scoffed and generally made fun of the entire project.
Artist Heizer was touted as either visionary contemporary artist specializing in large-scale earth art, OR, to those who don’t enjoy the concept, “not a real artist.” What do you think?
Philanthropist and Los Angeles arts supporter, Eli Broad, is opening his own art museum soon, and LACMA has made a formal proposal to acquire the Museum of Contemporary Art, also in Los Angeles. There are so many opportunities to broaden one’s exposure to creative influence.
The question seems to be what is creative, and what is just a curiosity? Is that an important distinction? Maybe not.
Is there a place between I like it or WHAT?
What do you think?
This is titled “Chas’ Stainless Steel, Mark Thompson’s Airplane Parts, About 1000 Pounds of Stainless Steel Wire, Gagosian’s Beverly Hills Space.” The title alone should tell you it’s not an ordinary work of art.
UCLA Professor and artist Nancy Rubins’ 54 foot tall assemblage of airplane parts sits outside the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art.
So back to the quote, “If you hate difference, you’ll be bored to death.”
Do you enjoy art that leaves you wondering why? Are you curious about what inspires an artist to move boulders or collect airplane parts? Does it need to fit your personal style in order to be enjoyed?
If you’re wondering where I stand on any of these questions I can answer best by stating that I am never bored.
But before I am lauded for my open-minded approach, I do wonder if I have an outer limit on my curiosity and tolerance.
Is there a point where I’m no longer interested? Am I ever completely turned off?
Tell me–Do YOU have any curiosity about a 28-foot sculpture of a urinating dog? To see a picture you’ll need to click HERE.
Then you can let me know if you think I should take a field trip to this exhibit.
So far I’m not feeling it! Maybe airplane parts is my outer edge.
It’s a beautiful rainy day and I’ll be home with my thoughts. I hope you’ll let me know what you think! We can be art critics together.
Happy weekend…be sure to exhale!