March 18, 2005


Today the husband and I took a day trip to Nuernberg. We visited two very polar things: the oldest bratwurst restaurant in the world (dating back to 1419) and the Neues Museum, a museum of modern art. The bratwursts were awesome, and we intend to visit that restaurant again. The museum...well, I often think modern art should be called "weirdo art".

Back in the day, artists were praised for how closely their art could ressemble reality. Art was good if the shading was correct, the proportion was in perspective, and the figures actually looked like human beings. I'm no art connoisseur, but I figure that's the gist. Art was supposed to be beautiful. The Coronation of Napoleon is beautiful. George Washington Crossing the Delaware, though wrong, is beautiful. And I can even get a bit more modern. Some van Gogh is nice. I like La Grande Jatte. One time in college there was a student exhibit and one person had put together this sculpture with all different clear glass cubes filled with things: buttons, cotton, twigs, fireants, flower petals, string, etc. I was fascinated with that piece, and I even went and got my husband from his dorm room and dragged him back to see it. I loved that thing, even if it was weird. But what I saw today took weird to eleven.

If you zip-tie a bunch of old blankets together, is it art? If you spraypaint the body of a VW Bug silver, is it art? If you paint a giant canvas only green, is it art? Is a display of cell phones? When you enter a museum, you're supposed to be able to tell if something is a bench to sit on or a piece of art. But the straw that broke Andy Warhol's back for me was art by Gabrijel Stupica. I just don't understand.


Old timey classic art was art because it took extreme talent and skill. I can't draw a Rembrandt. But this? Who decided that this was art? How did Stupica become famous? I don't understand modern art because I don't understand who decides that it's good. There were perhaps three things that I liked in the Neues Museum, and the rest was just weird or lame. The ones I liked, I wanted to stare at. But I still don't understand why they're art.

And then we went to a restaurant that people have been eating at since they thought the earth was flat...

Posted by: Sarah at 02:09 PM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
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1 Kinda makes me wonder if art should be a vocation and not a profession. I agree with your sentiment. Much of what is modern art is pure drivel. My six year old nephew could produce more skilled works. And he has barely mastered crayons, let alone oil or tempera painting.

Posted by: James at March 18, 2005 10:46 PM (Zw0Rr)

2 After looking at it with my eyes half closed I am able to confirm the girl is at a table with glasses or cups on it. (I think) At first glance, I thought she was sticking her arm up the butt of a cow.

Posted by: Oda Mae at March 19, 2005 03:06 AM (Fihb7)

3 Oh I am so with you on this. I don't get it at all. Picasso remains a mystery to me - why does everyone seem to love his stuff? Yes, some of the modern works do make you look - and can be interesting... but does that make them art? I guess I was born without the gene for proper appreciation of supposedly magnificent artists. Too bad I don't care about it. *grin*

Posted by: Teresa at March 19, 2005 09:18 PM (nAfYo)

4 Modern art has never made any sense to me, either. And when I hear people talking about a modern artist's eye, or use of emotion and color, or subtle shading, or whatever, I wonder if they know what they're talking about or just making it up as they go along. I couldn't realistically draw my way out of an open closet, but I have produced things that looked every bit as skilled as the woman with the table. Does she have three eyes, or two noses? I can't tell. Maybe I should reinvent myself as a modern artist... I could draw three-eyed women performing rectal exams on black tables, if this is what's considered cutting edge.

Posted by: oldcontroller at March 20, 2005 01:11 AM (hhiiF)

5 Oda Mae: that's what I thought too! I justified that thought because that's the sort of thing a lot of people in the Art world seem to be interested in, nowadays.

Posted by: Jefe at March 20, 2005 03:25 PM (Y/4Ki)

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