Sunday, November 12, 2006

My sanctuary is no more.

My entire life has been spent in the appreciation of art and the idea that it is the purest expression of the human soul. That was truly put to the test yesterday when I went to the new and “improved” Art Museum. Four new floors of pretentious crap in a brand new building that while is beautiful, it cannot make up for what it is filled with.

First of all, it is no longer free to enter the galleries. It costs $10 to enter the museum. The exhibitions aren’t even worth that. I tried staying as long as possible, to get my money’s worth, but I couldn’t stand to be in that place. It is no longer the quiet sanctuary where I could go and escape. It is now an over-crowded mass of human beings and bad art.

Secondly, dead things are not art, never have been, never will be. When I was in college, I worked on the school paper doing the art and theatre reviews. Some of the student art was wonderful and I hope they have long careers ahead of them. And then sometimes you get the guy who stayed up all night the day before the show working on his pieces. The guy who thought that if he put bags of rotting meat on the floor, he’d he avant garde and “oh, isn’t he so cool and creative.” Bah! There were several of these dead things as art in the Modern Art wing. Cow’s head in formaldehyde, butterflies pasted to a wall with yellow paint, a bag of trash. These things aren’t art. I hope they didn’t pay too much for them.

Thirdly, ten Impressionist works does not a gallery make; especially when you had 5 of them before. Now there are situated in a cold, characterless corner, instead of in an airy gallery. Impressionism is my favorite movement, they couldn’t expand that section? No they had to inundate you with Western art, which is my least favorite style.

At least they are adding to that collection. But in a corner, seriously?

I loved the museum because it was quiet and never crowed. Now I can’t see any of the pieces because people do not know gallery etiquette. You stand at least 5 feet away from a work to admire it and only step closer when you are not in anyone else’s way. It’s about being aware of your surroundings while appreciating the works. It is not about standing 5 inches from a work, while in someone’s way and not moving, as if you are staying there to piss everyone else off.

You never speak in a normal voice level. You speak in hushed, reverent tones out of respect for the other patrons and the beauty that is in front of you. And you keep your children quiet. I am all for exposing the young things to art and culture, but keep them quiet. I don’t like badly behaved children.

All I heard around me was pretentious conversation around me as well. They turned my museum into a big city cesspool for the ostentatious masses.

There was one piece that could be of use though. It was a huge ashtray. They could just throw everything in there and light it up.

There was one thing that I am happy they added. The photography area, small though it is, is wonderful. Feature Diane Arbus, who had a knack for capturing the elements of society that while may not b beautiful, you can’t tear your eyes away from them.

And there was one piece in the Modern wing that was just beautiful. It was called “Epiphany” by Gottfried Helnwein and it was a version of the Adoration of the Magi using Nazis. It was gorgeous. Ok, I know that sounds horrible, but it was pretty.

Those are the end of my notes. I had to wait to write about it or even more angry words would have come pouring forth from my fingertips.

My sanctuary is no more. That is incredibly sad.


At 12:04 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

When did this blog turn into condescension? Last time I checked this is in the West which explains the preference for Western Art. And rules of a museum for being quiet? Pretty much every museum I've ever seen including the Louvr has the same kind of nonsense going on. People sometimes have only been for their first time let 'em be. If your going to blog don't just bitch about stuff.

At 3:04 PM , Blogger HelloBettyLou said...

Wah, wah, wah. This is what I felt like writing about. It can't all be cupcakes and rainbows all the time. Yes, this is the West, but if you went to the musee, you'd see it's a bit of overkill in that department.

It was much quieter before, that's all I'm saying

At 4:04 PM , Blogger chinchilla said...

I agree - Western art is lame...
Your rant makes me think of a SATC scene were some guy in Charolette's gallery thinks the fire extinguisher on the wall is part of the installation and tries to buy it. haha

Did you end up talking the guy into going?

I would have gone with you!

At 10:12 PM , Blogger HelloBettyLou said...

No, he did man things with your man. I'm glad he didn't go, I couldn't stand it there for more than an hour.

At 11:36 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

My point was that all the whinin' over the last few entries just makes the blog agony to read. Not to worry I wont be back. Last time I ever go off a friends rec. for learning these to blog

At 11:01 AM , Blogger chinchilla said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 12:12 PM , Blogger HelloBettyLou said...

I didn't mean to be mean. PLease come back, I need the readers for my self-esteem. Don't leave me!


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