The other afternoon several friends and I visited the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) to see the Japanese Tattoo Exhibit. The exhibit consisted of three or four rooms (depends how you define rooms) with artistic shots of people and their tattoos, ranging from sleeves to more often body tunics. It was very cool, but I get a free tattoo exhibit every time I go to a local Richmond gym.
Afterward, we wandered into other areas of the museum. We soon found ourselves in the modern art section. Since middle school I have had this dream of putting a red dot on a huge white canvas and calling it Chaos. I swear it would make it big in New York City. “Cazey Williams” would be on everyone’s tongue.
The first piece I spotted was this:
I hesitate to call it a piece of art, because Leonardo da Vinci, anyone? Michelangelo? Picasso? I can’t insult these actual artists by calling this art. It’s cool, and maybe it’s my Bachelor of Science talking, but it’s paint dripped down a damn canvas. Does no one else agree?
And oh, they didn’t follow the ROYGBIV color scheme. Very innovative.
The accompanying plaque told me it’s an oil on canvas (standard) called Claustral by Morris Louis who once said, “Tradition for a painter is an intolerable burden.” Well, I think colorful oil on a canvas is pretty traditional. He’s probably still carrying that burden.
But wait for it: I was right. He did just drip paint down a canvas………and ended up in a museum………
Louis explored pure color in his mature paintings, pouring paint onto unstretched, unprimed canvas. Here, he left the ends of the drips visible but situated them at the top rather than the bottom of the finished work.
Groundbreaking: Not using primer, not cropping the canvas, and flipping it upside down.
"$500 for the inverted rainbow!"
Oh, but wait. Louis did crop his canvas:
…this painting’s stripes fall slightly to the right of center, as do the stronger hues…
Sara’s mom, who’s been featured on ATOB before, shares similar thoughts to me. She visited the VMFA earlier this year.
The next piece we saw was a vagina. I mean, what do you see?
The plaque reads:
In the late 1980s, [Davi Det] Hompson turned to painting: curved, boxlike slabs covered with pigmented wax whose central biomorphic shapes suggest totems on eccentric shields. Single-syllable titles echoing infants’ sounds connect the paintings…
And then there’s this gem:
…the sense of the image as an ephemeral thing, floating beneath a waxy skin...
I honestly don’t know what any of that means other than it’s innuendo for Shrek’s wife’s vulva. Which a five-year-old drew.
Also, the narrator of this plaque adds: “As if ready to slip away after the viewer’s brief pause before it, like turning the page in a book.”
Is this plaque high? They obviously cannot write just like this piece of art is a kindergartner's depiction of the female anatomy on green construction paper.
At least this painting admits what it is:
It’s called Two Females Models Reclining on a Cast-Iron Bed. They’re just missing the addendum Two Nude Female Models.
And here's some more quotes from Sara's mom:
Anyhow, if these artists can end up in museums, my red dot on white paper sure can. In the near future I may abandon this blog to become a modern artist. I think it would work out. Don’t you?