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.
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.
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?)