I went on a rare date with my husband a few weeks ago. I do mean rare, as the last time I recall going out with him alone was when I was pregnant with my nine month old little one.
He said “what do you wanna do?” I said, “anything we can’t do with kids around…. hey! You know what I meant!” He said, “how about an art museum?” I said “hells yeah! And then afterwards if we have time, maybe that other thing too.”
I’m paraphrasing of course. It was probably far more boring a conversation than I prefer to recall, but some how or another the plan was to go to a modern art museum followed by a quick jog (long walk) to the Portrait Gallery. I was game. Actually I was excited because a lot has changed since I was last in an art museum–mainly my appreciation for art. I’m prone to being cynical about everything, including myself, so modern art is something I truly struggle with appreciating. But, since I’m a big girl now, I was looking forward to really feeling the art.
The entrance seemed a little boring, but I know how obsessed with white space you modern artists are, so that didn’t throw me off. We were informed that Jenny Jones had a new display and it was all the rage. “Jenny Jones!” the receptionist beamed. “Oh great!” I feigned like I had any clue who she was.
My husband read my thoughts when he exclaimed, “Awesome! A freak make-over!”. (Relax, if you don’t get the joke it simply means you didn’t watch enough TV in the 90′s. Worry not, that can be remedied with Youtube.) We rode the alarmingly inartistic escalators upstairs–some things are purely function you know–and started a way throw a series of rooms.
I noted a bed which was cut in half and assembled to a dresser. He noted parts of a railroad from China hung from the ceiling. We both noted a piece entitled “Wall with Ten Holes”, in which true to it’s name, was a wall with indeed ten holes punch in it. I noted chairs to sit in. He noted a second floor. I noted a bed with disembodied wooden arms laying beside it that made me feel kinda like throwing up. He noted a beautiful balcony. We both noted the door was locked. I noted it was probably to keep people from jumping off. I also noted it was the best display in the whole building. Lady next to me noted that she agreed. I noted that the only people that seemed to enjoy this were white and rich. We noted that it was time to leave.
I have a sinking feeling I will never grow up enough to appreciate modern art.
When I left I was a little disappointed in myself. I had high hopes of really feeling the art. All I felt was cold and harsh and a little bit sick from the disembodied arms. I also felt sad that I didn’t think to nail perfectly good antique furniture together and call it art, but that’s neither here nor there.
Then I thought that perhaps–maybe?–it’s what the artists were going for? To make me feel sick and question my perception of art?
Then we walked over to the Portrait Gallery and I breathed a sigh of relief.