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View Diary: Cheers and Jeers: MONDAY (379 comments)

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  •  HHG's Triumphant Return - Cheers and Jeers (4.00)
    Jeers to missing a few days of work and coming back to a hundred emails....ugh...

    Cheers to feeling well enough to be back at work...woo hoo....

    Cheers to the Dali Exhibit at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. It was excellent. They had amassed a very comprehensive grouping of his works that was representative of all the stages of his artistic development. As for the rest of the museum....

    Cheers to the gullible lady who believed me when I explained that the miniature model horse armor was actually dog armor from France, as the French were very protective of their battle dogs....

    Cheers to the PMA's collection of Impressionist art including a few Van Goghs, Cezannes, Manets, and a whole slew of others. This is truly my favorite style of artistic expression....

    Now on to my mini rant.....

    Jeers to modern art I just don't get. First up we have Tristan Lowe's Untitled (Dysfunctional Chair) (see photo here). I like abstraction and all, but, squashing a folding chair and throwing in a museum qualifies as art nowadays? The PMA security guard thought my "I have one of those in my basement" comment was pretty funny, though....

    Next up is Cy Twombly's Trojan War "paintings", which were given an entire room of the PMA. Some examples of his work are here and here. Now I will say that while searching for examples of Twombly's Trojan War series, I did find pieces of his I did like, such as this one, but, scribbling names from the Trojan War in what appears to be crayon on giant canvases gets you your own room at one of the largest art museums in the country....I'd better get my daughter some canvasses and crayons because she can scribble with the best of them...

    There were a few other items in the museum that got to me, such as the canvass that was painted all blue with a single green line down the middle, just slightly off center (I forget the artist) and others, but, those above are the ones that literally had me cursing under my breath, being the failed artist that I am...maybe it's just jealousy....

    Now on to a few regular ole Cheers and Jeers...

    Cheers to revolutionary writing. On this date in 1848, Karl Marx published the Communist Manifesto, which went on to be required backpack material for any suburban kid trying to seem cool and hip...

    Jeers to interpretations of this work that led to some of the most brutal governments of the twentieth century...

    Jeers to the death of Hunter S. Thompson. I was never that big a fan of his work, but, his death sure seems senseless....

    Jeers to pinkeye. The scourge of my existence for most of last week.

    Cheers to getting to spend some time at home in bed resting, watching a little TV. Finally got around to watching Outfoxed and Bush's Brain. Both were interesting, but could have used a little more time in the production end of things...

    And finally, here is your beer pic of the day....

    "Easter is when Jesus comes out of his tomb, and if he sees his shadow he goes back in and we get six more weeks of winter." - Tommy Smothers

    by the holy handgrenade on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 08:01:59 AM PST

    •  I laughed so hard (4.00)
      that I couldn't stop coughing.  Those "art" links are dangerous!

      My fiance is an artist.  I'm a mathematician.  He just glares at me when I tell him that modern art is not art.

      I am a fan of Dali though.  I read about the exhibit in one of the newsweeklies and was wishing I lived in PA.  Whichever newsweekly it was didn't really give Dali much praise.

      •  Dali... (4.00)
        really was fantastic and I highly recommend to any of you in the Philly area who can make the trip. I might go back when the crowd is a little smaller. My fault for going on the first day...

        "Easter is when Jesus comes out of his tomb, and if he sees his shadow he goes back in and we get six more weeks of winter." - Tommy Smothers

        by the holy handgrenade on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 08:16:26 AM PST

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    •  Welcome back pinkie! (4.00)
      Glad you are feeling better.
      •  It was pretty funny... (4.00)
        but I wasn't the only person at the art museum with bright red bloodshot eyes on Wednesday. Hmmm...I wonder why that was...

        "Easter is when Jesus comes out of his tomb, and if he sees his shadow he goes back in and we get six more weeks of winter." - Tommy Smothers

        by the holy handgrenade on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 08:17:31 AM PST

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    •  ONLY a hundred emails? That ain't bad. (4.00)

      As for doggy armor...we hope that wasn't an example of the influence C&J has had on you. (But kudos for an excellent bit of snark)
      •  This place may be a bad influence for some.. (4.00)
        but my smart assed attitude has been getting me into trouble for years...even at the art museum...

        Oh, and I forgot to mention the 30 voice mail messages awaiting me this morning...it's only 11:20 and I already have a headache...

        "Easter is when Jesus comes out of his tomb, and if he sees his shadow he goes back in and we get six more weeks of winter." - Tommy Smothers

        by the holy handgrenade on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 08:19:44 AM PST

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        •  What - This Isn't Snark Central? (4.00)
          This mornig a coworker was describing how she went to a German poetry reading (she was in Europe last week, poor thing) because her friend was one of the featured poets and she had to keep staring at her shoes really hard in order not to laugh at the Euro-Goth outfits and the pretentious tone of voice of the poets and most of all this guy who kept verrryyy sllowllyyy pouring grains of sand from one cup to another to indicate the interonnectedness of everything.

          That's why they don't let people who sit at the kids' table into fancy art museums and poetry readings.

          "A working class person who votes Republican is like a chicken who votes for Colonel Sanders."
          --T. M., working class Democrat

          by bramish on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 08:31:04 AM PST

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    •  Welcome back! (4.00)
      You were missed.

      And we'll be saying a big hello to all intelligent life forms everywhere. And to everyone else out there, the secret is to bang the rocks together, guys.

      by mentaldebris on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 08:17:29 AM PST

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    •  Art? (4.00)
      I was recently awakened to the soul inspiring joy that is appreciating art. Went to the see the collections in Chicago and I wholeheartedy agree with your take. The Impressionists took my breath away. Modern? Well, not so much.

      Welcome back to health!

      Can blindly continued fear-induced, regurgitated, life denying traditions be overcome? - Alanis Morissette

      by SanDiegoDem on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 08:17:53 AM PST

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      •  Obviously, you weren't properly prepared (4.00)
        One of our favorite excursions in college was to get toked up and then go to the Museum of Modern Art. "Oh, wow man. That is deep." The other one was to get toked up and go to the Lincoln Park zoo around springtime. Did you know camels' lips can move in 4 directions? And the tortoises--such patience and determination.

        But even unaided, I can sit all day and gaze at this.

        "I still think politics is about who's getting screwed and who's doing the screwing." -Molly Ivins

        by hono lulu on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 12:08:20 PM PST

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        •  That's the ONE (4.00)
          I stood in front of this one for ages! Stepped back, went closer again and just was in awe.

          <giggle> and no toking :-))

          Can blindly continued fear-induced, regurgitated, life denying traditions be overcome? - Alanis Morissette

          by SanDiegoDem on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 01:10:49 PM PST

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          •  In defense of abstract art (4.00)
            I also love this. Rothko is one of those big deal you painted an orange square types. But I love those squares. I got to sit in the room at the Tate Modern with these paintings. I can't describe adequately the experience. You are surrounded by color. It feels like you're breathing color. Not to get too serious in the kiddie pool, but I think of art as "listening with your eyes."

            "I still think politics is about who's getting screwed and who's doing the screwing." -Molly Ivins

            by hono lulu on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 01:25:06 PM PST

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    •  Yo, Adrian (4.00)
      Cheers to PMA. I managed to get to it last summer.

      Great collection. Great building. And it doesn't take itself too seriously. How many other museums celebrate that they, well, their steps, were a major backdrop of a movie that had nothing to do with art.

      Creationists bear false witness.

      by freelunch on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 08:31:15 AM PST

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    •  Don't get me started, HHG (4.00)
      And if I wasn't killing myself to finish a paper today, I'd use up a considerable amount of C&J space to do a little "abstraction therapy," as I like to call it in my art history classes.  

      Cy Twombly's work is difficult, in it being highly intellectual.  I don't apologize for artists being cryptic.  Heidegger is cryptic, but they still study his philosophy.  

      Next time I'm in Philly, I'm inviting you along and we can go look at the works together.  Believe me, they're worth it!

      Gutta cavat lapidem

      by SneakySnu on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 08:41:06 AM PST

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      •  Perhaps... (4.00)
        the PMA should have provided some background on the Trojan War Twombly works that would have allowed for some semblance of context to my untrained eye. But, as the exhibit stands, all I was seeing was canvases scribbled on with names of Trojan War figures.

        Don't get me wrong, I love abstraction in art, as most of my paintings, horrible as they may be, are of the abstract variety (I suck at realism). But these works just didn't do it for me.

        "Easter is when Jesus comes out of his tomb, and if he sees his shadow he goes back in and we get six more weeks of winter." - Tommy Smothers

        by the holy handgrenade on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 09:18:49 AM PST

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        •  An important piece of information (4.00)
          that you neglected to share earlier:  that you are a painter, sir!  

          I'm surprised that the PMA didn't include more context with the paintings--they're usually pretty good at the didactic stuff.  

          It's true that I concluded from your comment that you weren't into abstraction, and several of the comments by other posters that follow reinforced that idea.  I certainly don't believe that everyone should like abstract art, but so many people dismiss it out of hand precisely with arguments like "my child could do that."  The rendering may look simple, but often it is not.  

          So there's my two-pennies-with-Lincoln-portraits for ya!

          Gutta cavat lapidem

          by SneakySnu on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 10:00:12 AM PST

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          •  On your defence of Twombly... (4.00)
            I shall do so further online research into the meaning and composition of these works. Maybe, I will be able to better understand the artist's intentions in the works. Honestly, as someone whose artwork has been criticized as that of a drug addict (which was not the case), I probably should have been a little more open minded about the works.

            "Easter is when Jesus comes out of his tomb, and if he sees his shadow he goes back in and we get six more weeks of winter." - Tommy Smothers

            by the holy handgrenade on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 10:57:19 AM PST

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    •  Art (4.00)
      I love museum, but I detest "modern art".  I'm sorry, but a dot on a canvas means the "artist" can't paint.  My neighbor tells this story of visiting MOCA here and watching this couple ooh and aah over a piece.  He went over to look at it and it's was the fire extinguisher on the wall.  

      As for us, we're probably gonna get our kid into a lot of trouble.  When we go to The Getty they have this whole French section that spans a few decades.  It's Louis 14 chic.  We amuse ourselves by going through and playing a game:  Getty or Ghetto:  You Decide.  We had so much fun the first time, that we play it almost every time we go out.

      Smoke the holy chalice, got my own religion...

      by fabooj on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 09:51:17 AM PST

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      •  It's not about skill. (4.00)
        Most works of modern art aren't about skill in rendering.  They're not expressive.  They're about ideas. Unfortunately, most of us get no education in art history to understand where these works are coming from; why, for example, it might be important at one point for an artist to explore figure-ground relationships or the constraints of a square canvas by plopping a big red dot in the middle of one.  

        The problem is that the artists get labeled as "elitists" for exploring such ideas instead of pandering to popular tastes for realism.  (Before I get labeled as an elitist, I should make clear that personally I prefer figurative works.  And I don't think that realist works are simplistic.) Lots of abstract work is really political:  the cubists were allied with anarchism around 1907-11; Russian constructivism was used in the Russian Revolution.  Its most famous proponent, Kasimir Malevich, did perhaps one of the most radical paintings of all time, White on White (a white square inscribed on a white canvas).  For a long time, abstract art was seen as constitutive of social and political reform, not a commentary on it.  

        It's definitely fun to play games at museums--and yours sounds hysterical--but I would ask you also to take a closer look at some of those abstract works to see where they're coming from.  

        </end art lecture>

        Gutta cavat lapidem

        by SneakySnu on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 10:14:52 AM PST

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        •  I mean </art lecture> (4.00)
          Duh.  Maybe your or Eddie can lecture me a little bit about HTML.

          Gutta cavat lapidem

          by SneakySnu on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 10:16:16 AM PST

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        •  Part of the problem (4.00)
          I think is those "artist" who take themselves too seriously.  We have tons of ArtWalks around here, my favorite being at The Brewery.  I went into one studio and this guy had made 9"x9" sized canvases with symbols (!@#$%^*-+:"><,.?/).  Each canvass was in red, blue, yellow or black and each symbol was in black, white, red, and green.  I would have had way more respect if he had just said "I was bored".  No, he chatted up each prospective buyer with a different line of bullshit.  

          I have no problem with pieces that look pretty and match my decor, but I have to find a piece of modern art that actually conveys a message, or at least a message that means anything to me.  As I said, I detest modern art, but every since I was little, I made it a point to go to MOCA once a month and look around.  I'm still not a fan.

          Smoke the holy chalice, got my own religion...

          by fabooj on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 10:22:52 AM PST

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          •  Many artists today suffer from the same thing (4.00)
            that afflicts most people - they want instant gratification without having to actually do any work. A lot of young artists know that people accept abstract and conceptual-heavy work and so they go straight for avant-garde, out-there work that does, in fact, pander to current trends, without putting any effort into learning craft and technique first. IMHO this cheapens the work of artists who came before them who broke the "rules" of art because they first earned the right to do it by learning what the rules were in the first place.

            Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves; and, under a just God, can not long retain it. - Abraham Lincoln

            by angelama on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 11:43:27 AM PST

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            •  Never looked at it that way (4.00)
              I just thought that they were lazy.  Like the say, hey!  That piece sold for $1200, I can do that.  The artists at The Brewery are awesome for the most part, but there are some there that I can do without.  You should check out their site.  Not all the artists are listed, but there are a few that are really good.  

              Speaking of which, there is a lady who has a studio there who makes jewelry.  I can't remember her name, but I think she'll make what you were talking about.  We'll be heading over there next week, so if I see her, I'll grab her information.  

              Smoke the holy chalice, got my own religion...

              by fabooj on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 12:19:55 PM PST

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          •  And remember, (4.00)
            Half of everything is below average. That also goes for artists.

            Actually, I subscribe more to the addage (can't remember who first said this) "90% of everything is crap." This definitely goes for art.

            As a recovering art historian, and married to an artist (choreographer) I have seen way more than my share of bad art. I've also seen way more than my share of great art. When it's great, it's obvious.

            One of my favorite moments was walking through the fine art museum in Vienna (Kunsthistorisches Museum). We were walking through rooms of decent, but not great, 17th-century Spanish artists when we came into a small, corner room and BOOM! Right there in front of us, big as life was a Raphael, Madonna in the Meadow.  We physically almost fell over. It was so powerful, and so beautiful.

            The most important thing to remember is that art never translates into photographs. You have to see it in person to get the full impact.

            My favorite museum for a day trip, The Freer Gallery in the Smithsonian. Go see it.

            Plane Crazy

            "It is hard to fight anger, for a man will buy revenge with his soul." Heracleitus, 500 BCE

            by PlaneCrazy on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 01:01:58 PM PST

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            •  The author was Vonnegut (4.00)
              Actually, I subscribe more to the addage (can't remember who first said this) "90% of everything is crap." This definitely goes for art.

              Kurt Vonnegut Jr said it about Science Fiction: 90% of sci-fi is crap

              The gods do not protect fools. Fools are protected by more capable fools - Larry Niven

              by sersan on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 02:40:46 PM PST

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        •  I know art (4.00)
          ... but I don't know what I like.

          "Our representative democracy is not working ... I believe the chief reason for this is that it is ruled by a small group of old men."-Shirley Chisolm

          by JLongs on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 11:03:17 AM PST

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    •  Glad you are feeling better! (4.00)
      Especially the pinkeye...like I told you last week, been there, no fun! Cheers to the drops though, even though you had trouble with them, trust me, they sound better than that goopy cream they used to prescribe (or maybe still do).

      Westley: "Truly, you have a dizzying intellect." Vizzini: "Wait til I get going!"

      by Revel on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 11:40:54 AM PST

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    •  HHG? (4.00)

      Hopelessly pedantic since 1963.

      by admiralh on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 12:04:41 PM PST

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    •  There is a great (4.00)
      Dali museum in St Pete. Was just there Sunday for the 'Dali Revealed' exhibit. Wonderful as always!

      'Fear can only prevail when victims are ignorant of the facts' -- Thomas Jefferson

      by Flagrrl on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 12:31:34 PM PST

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      •  A great many of the works in Philly... (4.00)
        for the PMA exhibit come from the St. Pete museum. I was most surprised by the PMA's showing of Un Chien Andalou, which I have seen on a number of occasions, but it was startling on their large screen....

        "Easter is when Jesus comes out of his tomb, and if he sees his shadow he goes back in and we get six more weeks of winter." - Tommy Smothers

        by the holy handgrenade on Mon Feb 21, 2005 at 12:49:03 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Welcome back, hhg! (4.00)
      Hope you are feeling better. I missed your beer pics. See Friday's C&J if you don't believe it :)

      Cheers to everyone; I missed all the action today. Ahh, the injustice of having to work at work.

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