Ceci n’est pas une post title

December 12, 2013 - 11:54 pm
Irradiated by Stingray

Recently, LabRat’s mother paid us a visit. This is not a happy occasion to put it mildly, but detailing this is not the purpose for which I blow the dust out of the keyboard today.

As part of the appeasement package, some of the art museums available in Santa Fe were tapped for afternoon visits. The fact that most were located near the damnable plaza, the tourist-packed heart of the oldest part of Santa Fe, and thus not well configured for the high vehicular traffic that tourist attractions draw deterred none but me, the driver of the ginormous pick-up.

The New Mexico Museum of Art was eventually selected as the top candidate, and thus we hauled the ponderousness of the truck and LabRat’s mother directly to the plaza to see The Art.

This did not go well. Allow me to present, with minimal commentary (until later), some of the pieces of art we encountered in this fraud of an institution. File names contain additional commentary, and those that are not terribly well in focus, I’m torn between calling art and just noting that the pieces were bad enough that focus would not really help anything.


Yes, that’s construction paper on cardboard.








I’m not positive these next two were actual exhibits, but given the rest of the museum I wanted to be sure to get a snapshot just in case I was standing in front of genius.

I don’t know, this one had a light shined specifically on it so I think it was an installation piece. *rimshot*

And finally, I present the best thing in the whole damn museum:

Now, to be fair there were two, maybe three pieces that were actually interesting and worth looking at. There was a decent Georgia O’Keefe repressionist piece. By contrast, there were roughly 15-20 of those bullshit “I sloshed my brush-water on loose-leaf” pretentious troll-pieces from Richard Tuttle. LabRat left insulted on behalf of the two good artists for having their actual work displayed next to such vapid drivel, while I was insulted the institution would willingly display so much that would be best used wadded up to light the fireplace and have the gall to charge money to look at it. Or go in the fireplace as actual fuel at Blogorado. I’m reasonably certain we destroyed thousands of dollars worth of art in the firepit there this year, but luckily it’s ok because my scrap pile must be worth millions. I’m sincerely tempted to select some random chunk of battered 2×4 with a nail sticking out of it, and attempt to deliver it as an addition the artist sent to the exhibit.

In fact, y’know what? Check this out:
I made that. Right now. Between typing the colon in “check this out:” and typing this line. I dare any one of you to find an expert who will say “Nope, that’s not part of this collection of pretentious bullshit.”

I’m not strictly sure photography was allowed. Frankly I don’t care. Being thrown out would very much have been an “Oh, don’t throw me in that briar patch!” situation. Forestalling my urge to redouble my efforts into researching a way to destroy all life on the planet from my back yard, most of the guest book broadly agreed that, in the words of art critic Hilton Kramer invoking the axiom “less is more,” “in Mr. Tuttle’s work, less is unmistakably less…One is tempted to say, where art is concerned, less has never been as less than this.” One can hope that the curator in Santa Fe is similarly fired as the curator responsible for the exhibit that prompted that critique.

Finally, on the long hike back to where I finally managed to find a spot near the plaza big enough to accommodate an extended-bed extended-cab pickup, something caught my eye:

I could swear I’ve seen that emu head somewhere….
(And paging the ministry of irony, the piece is titled “Money Is Too Important To Take Seriously” and they want $3,600 for it. I actually do like it, infinitely more than anything I saw in the actual museum, but…. seriously?)

13 Responses to “Ceci n’est pas une post title”

  1. Rob Says:

    I think this surpasses insider-created “outsider art” in levels of pretentiousness and laziness. I did not think that could be accomplished. Bravo, Mr. Tuttle, bravo.

  2. Peter Says:

    Be careful about publishing this. Next thing you know, the State Department will spend a million bucks at that museum . . .


  3. Kermit Says:

    I do so look forward to a good rant.

    And if the above “exhibits” are truly “art,” our firepit has eaten untold millions of dollars in the past four months alone.

    I want to submit an old dry chunk of mesquite wood to the museum now. Preferably with a spider or three and a giant centipede under the bark, in your honor.

  4. Kermit Says:

    The spiders will NOT be in bags, though. I’ll only go so far.

  5. Jennifer Says:

    Huh. When I blow my nose and get interesting colors and patterns, I see a doctor. Never thought about framing it calling it a collection.

  6. Old NFO Says:

    Ah yes, the whole ‘eye of the beholder’ thingie… And it’s obvious you are NOT one of those who can ‘appreciate’ the fine art displays… Of course most of us who consider ‘art’ being able to hit a target at long range in the wind, and do it repeatedly aren’t real ‘art’ aficionados unless it’s a fine piece of wood or a well done piece of metal… :-)

  7. pediem Says:

    I need to start collecting all of the art that the kids who come to the ER draw and give to me and exhibit it. There’s more to it than what got put in that exhibit, that’s for sure.

  8. LMB Says:

    Shit, I’ve got a fuckton of modern art sitting out back in my scrap pile. I was going to get a couple hundred bucks to recycle it, but I’ll sell it to these id-uh, I mean, [i]artistic entrepreneurs[/i] for a low, low, low price of $8000.

  9. Scott Evans Says:

    Perhaps those exhibits are the art world’s equivalent of “participation trophies” …?

  10. BobG Says:

    I’ve been to said institution, and I was not really impressed either. There are better places to go.

  11. Christina LMT Says:

    My 8-year-old housemate commented that the third picture down and on the right looks like a coffee stain. I agree.

  12. perlhaqr Says:

    I kind of actually don’t think your inkstain could be part of this collection. It’s too interesting.

    Fifth photograph: Seriously, WTF, yo. I have notebooks full of stuff like that… they were the beginnings of drafting notes that i later finished on the computer. It’s not art. It’s certainly not art at that stage, and it’s not even art when it’s done up nice on the computer, and half the time it’s not even art once I’ve actually built the thing Iw as drawing pictures of. It’s just engineering.

    The first photograph at least looks like it has the potential to be a drawing of something that might have become art. Or art-like. Like a stained glass window, perhaps.

  13. Jay G. Says:

    I can’t comment on the “art”, but I *definitely* feel your pain on the parking-a-large-vehicle-in-a-city deal.

    Visited Dad G. in Boston after his hip replacement. Cleared the parking garage by microns…