Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Favorite present

For Christmas this year my husband gave me a cow skull.  A long horn cow skull.  This is very exciting.

I already possess a deer and a fox skull and a pewter cow head.

When we arrived in Atlanta on the 23rd, I was sitting in the living room, and my husband said to his sister (as if I wasn't sitting there) so where is the cow skull?    I looked at him and looked back and forth to my kids and started giggling.  I couldn't stop, and I think they were confused or embarrassed and started laughing too.  I kept wanting to make jokes about the whole thing but thought it might turn out badly so I let it go.
Of course I am thrilled to have another skull, I've already figured out where to hang it.  When we had to  pack the car, he had everything fitted in, when I said, "Is the skull in there?"   "Goddammit! What kind of husband gives his wife a cow skull for Christmass?"  Well it all fit together, with limited rear view  access.
Everyone could always use another skull.

Monday, December 27, 2010

High Museum continued

So my favorite quote from the Dali show was posted on the wall right before the gift shop.  It was from Alice Cooper.  "I've met a lot of crazy people, but Salvador Dali was the craziest."  And that from a man who actually has been on Hollywood Squares.  The other quote was this long story by Jeff Koons describing how when he was young, he saw a book of Dali paintings and was quite impressed with it.  He found out that Dali was staying at the St. Regis in New York and wrote to him to see if he could meet him.  Dali not only replied to his letter but invited him to visit and took him to see his show.  Koons had a great time and left with the feeling that he could make a go of the whole art thing.  Which I think explains a lot about Jeff Koons.

When we finished with the show we went upstairs to look at the contemporary art.  There were some pieces we remembered from last year that I wanted to see again.  Right in the middle of the gallery was this piece.
My head hurt from being hit with such a large hammer.

The entire sculpture is made from aluminum, even though those flotation devices really looked like plastic pool toys.  We got as close to it as we could without getting yelled at, the guards were watching us pretty closely.  I guess everyone wants to poke that piece.  A little girl ran up and almost jumped on the platform it was hanging over.  I wanted to ask her to touch the toys because she wouldn't get in as much trouble as we would.  I'm still not convinced we weren't being duped by Koons. 

The pieces I love, among others, are an El Anatsui and an Anselm Kiefer.  Although I have to admit I'm a little disillusioned with Kiefer since seeing his name linked with Courtney Love in the New York Times.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Dali at the High

We are in Atlanta for the Christmas holiday.  My son and I went to see the Salvador Dali exhibit at the High Museum not for any particular love of Dali, but we just wanted an outing.  The exhibit was packed and it cost $36 for the two of us to get in which is always shocking when you are used to the free museums of Washington.  Shuffling through a crowded exhibit squinting at the signs is not my favorite way to see art, but sometimes it's all you've got.
I'm always amazed at how small the "Persistence of Memory" really is (about 9" x 12").  I think almost every reproduction beyond a postcard is larger.  Some of his paintings are very large, and you've got to wonder how long it took him to make them since you can't see a single brushstroke.  I also liked the lithographs he did of Don Quixote.  They were the right combination of good drawing and expressionist splatters.  He called his technique "bullettism" because he would fire balls of paint (or probably litho crayons) from an antique musket at the litho stone.  He was fond of science, all of which he learned from reading Scientific American.  He was fascinated with nuclear physics so he would paint the Virgin Mary's assumption to heaven as a fragmented mess.  Somehow I don't think that's what science had in mind.
All in all though, I don't really like his work.  I don't know if it's because his painting is so academic that it all looks like reproductions.  Or maybe it's that he is so wildly imitated and emulated that even his own work looks derivitive.  Maybe I just don't like the compositions or the subject matter.  Half of it looks like bad album cover art and the other half looks like the work of the talented church elder.

In the end I feel like Dali himself was his best work of art, I mean look at that moustache.  He was a shameless self-promoter, he must have appeared on every magazine cover at some time in his life.  He may even have appeared on Hollywood Squares, but I'll have to research that.

So in a round about way this brings me back to why I am starting a blog.  I want a place to talk about art and show my own work, but unlike Dali, I am not a shameless self-promoter.  In fact I'm pretty much incapable of promoting myself.  For god's sake, I've needed new business cards for the last five years.   Anyway, who cares, this internal monolog has got to go somewhere.
Tommorow, I ponder Jeff Koons.