Saturday, December 10, 2005

I don't know jack about art

I finally made it over to the Corcoran Gallery on Saturday to see the Andy Warhol exhibition. It's in DC until the end of Feb, but I wanted to make sure I saw it at some point. There's a lot to see/do here that I say I want to see/do, but rarely do. So on Wednesday I made the first "let's-go-out-as-friends" date with K, who had said she wanted to see the Warhol exhibition, too. As awkward as the day was together, it was still a good time.

I'll admit that I don't know much about Warhol with the exception of his Marilyn Monroe paintings, self portraits, and Campbell's soup cans. I also know he was portrayed by David Bowie in a movie and there was a movie called "Who Shot Andy Warhol?" staring Lily Taylor. I saw neither. Needless to say, I was looking to have my horizons broadened.

Started with the usual portraits - self, Marilyn Monroe, and Jackie Kennedy. Also in that first room were portraits of Dolly Parton, Cheryl Tiegs, Debbie Harry, and Jane Fonda. One thing I noticed in each picture was that the lips not only looked the same in each, but they looked just like Warhol's in a picture of him in drag. I don't know where I'm going with that, but it was just an observation. The next few rooms were darker stuff.. knives, guns, pictures of an electric chair, a jumper, and Jackie Kennedy. The picture of 'Jackie Smiling' was one of 5. The next four showed her veiled (2), with a soldier, and can't remember the fourth, but all had this somber, sullen look on her face and far out stare in her eyes post-JFK. Almost haunting.

The next room looked like a kids room with the Mao Tse-Tung wallpaper and portraits hanging on said wallpaper. The way the Tung portraits were created, it almost looked like there was a drawing of Tung, but a child had finger painted over it. It was this powerful portrait of a leader, but had been desecrated with child-like care, which was none at all. The next rooms were drawings and stuff and I was tired by this point.

So we had some time to kill and wanted to see the rest of the gallery. Another exhibition was of Sam Gilliam. I figured 'what the hell'. What the hell indeed! This is where I lost interest in art, or how art is defined. A few rooms had what looked like dirty, paint covered drop cloths hanging on the walls, draped over saw horses, or sort of crumpled up on the floor. Don't touch! This is art! See.. it's a reflection of his studio. Don't you get it?

Don't worry, cuz I was scratching my head too.

He had some splattered paint stuff that looked almost Pollock-esque as well as some splattered paint collages. Masterpieces! Really, I didn't get it.

Here are a few items of his that were on display. I found a few more online as well. There's a lot out there, but I think it's different seeing it online vs. in person.

Maybe I'm not one for abstract art.. at least his interpretation of it. I like art.. really, I try to. I like stuff by Matisse, Van Gogh, Picasso, M. C. Esher, photography by Ansel Adams, and sculptures by Calder. For those in Michigan that have been in Grand Rapids, you might be familiar with this piece of work by Calder. Well, you might not have been familiar with it, but now you are, so consider yourself cultured and go see it for real.

I guess my bedroom could be considered a work of art.. a messy one.. no! I like to call it a work in progress. I would love to collect art, but I'm.. I'd like to say I'm 'particular' instead of 'picky'. I don't have anything on my bedroom walls. All I have is a border that I 'designed' all my own. I'm a bit of a packrat and have kept my race number from a lot of the triathlon, ultras, and running races that I've done over the years. I tend to forget how I do, so when I remember to, I write the date, the race, and my time on the back of it. It's an interesting collection, I must say, of torn, worn and tattered paper. It's a reflection of me, the artist.

I guess I am starting to appreciate art.


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