Art and Stuff

On Saturday, I spent most of the day helping my cousin Heather move. Actually, she’s my second cousin. She’s my cousin Lillian’s daughter. Heather is a kindergarten teacher and is just finishing up her first year.
Her dad, Terry, and I did most of the heavy lifting. During the loading of the truck, Heather walked by me as she was taking some of the smaller items to her car. She was holding a poster in her right hand and it was partially unrolled. I could see about 10% of it. All of a sudden, “That looks like The Kiss by Gustav Klimt”, popped out of my mouth. Heather unrolled the poster and sure enough it WAS Klimt’s painting. She looked at me like I was some kind of Rain Man or something.

I was surprised that I was able to identify the painting just by seeing the green at the bottom part of the poster. I didn’t think that I knew that much about art.

Here’s the thing, though. I don’t even like that painting. I think it’s ugly. Aesthetically, it does nothing for me. Maybe that’s why I remember it. IDK.

There’s another piece that Klimt did called Judith and the Head of Holofernes that I find equally as hideous. Judith has a weird look on her face – kind of like she just died and had an orgasm at the same time. It’s creepy. Also, she looks like she has an afro.

Anyway, he’s not one of my favorite artists.

Sometimes I wonder why I like certain artists so much. Van Gogh, for instance. Do I really like van Gogh’s stuff because of the way it makes me feel? Or do I like it because he was a tortured artist who cut his ear off?
The official version regarding van Gogh’s ear is that he cut it off after having had a fight with Paul Gauguin in 1888. He then walked to a local brothel and presented it to a prostitute named Rachel. I’m sure she was thrilled.

Paul Gauguin

There are SOME art historians, however, who claim that it was Gauguin who cut off Vince’s ear. Apparently, Gauguin was a fencing ace and he cut it off with a sword during the fight. Supposedly, there is quite a bit of evidence to back up that claim.
I don’t know. I wasn’t there, so I can’t say what really happened. I do, however, find the ‘Gauguin slicing Vince’s ear off with a sword’ version a lot more romantic and intriguing.

Although I do like some of Gauguin’s artwork, I wouldn’t say that I am a big fan. I like van Gogh much better.

Another one of my favorite artists is Nam June Paik. He did a piece called Electronic Superhighway. It’s in the Smithsonian American Art Museum. I saw it when I went to Washington D.C. a few years ago. It’s one of the coolest things that I have ever seen.

Click on the picure to make it bigger.

Electronic Superhighway: Continental U.S., Alaska, Hawaii is a big United States made out of steel, neon and televisions. It uses 49-channel closed circuit video. The tvs in each state show something that is relative to the state. ex. Kansas shows The Wizard of Oz.
It’s really strange listening to all of the tv audio at the same time. Kind of surreal. I think that I stood there and looked at it for an hour. It’s this kind of art that makes me wish that I lived in an art museum.

I like public art and strange architecture, too. Like that giant spoon and cherry in Minneapolis. I’ve never seen it in person, but it is on my to do list.

Also on my list is the Unisphere in Flushing Meadows. They made it for the ’64 World’s Fair.

I supposed that if you lived close to these places you would tire of them after a while. When I lived in Las Vegas and people would come to town they would want to see everything. I would be like, “Ugh, I’ve seen all of those places a gazillion times”. Everybody always wanted to see the volcano erupting at the Mirage or the Pirate Show at Treasure Island. I suppose if you’ve never seen them before they would be quite intriguing.

The thing about Las Vegas is that it’s all glitz. There’s really nothing cultural about it. It seems like every other week they are closing down and imploding one of the older hotels and casinos to make way for the newer stuff. All of the Vegas history is disappearing.