I finally broke down and decided to write on a topic of which I have no expertise , don’t know anything about ; but , nevertheless , have an opinion . ( I hear some of you saying : ‘ So , what else is new ? ‘ )If you have a different opinion about what I’m going to say , then that’s okey . You’re welcome to it . I’ll probably keep mine on this topic , though . It doesn’t matter much anyway , I think . (That’s another opinion with which you may not agree . Live with it !)
I’ve included in this post a picture of what passes for art in Los Angeles . The County Museum of Art paid for this chunk of rock , built its pedestal , set it up so visitors can walk under it so they can wonder , I guess , what the hell it’s all about . Is that enough to make it art ? Then it’s art , man !
Well , at least for once the mountain went to Mohamet . Maybe that’s something .
I had a roommate in college , Don , who would pick junk up , junk that he’d found on his walks home from class . Once , for example , he found an odd tangle of rusted wire about the size of a basketball . Don dragged it home and hung it up in the living room . Art ? Why not . Don never lectured about the deep significance of his findings . He never explained them to the rest of us , explaining in detail why the pieces were great art , in that Veteran Ave apartment . Don went on to become an MD ; specializes in radiology . He lives in West Virginia last time I looked . I don’t know whether or not he still collects items from around town to put in his house . Maybe . In a way , I hope so .
You want to make something and call it art —– fine . But , when you find something , drag it home , put it somewhere —— do you call it art ? If you call it art you’d better have an explanation , I suppose , be able to ramble on in illuminating and haughty tones about why , exactly , it’s art . Act superior , because you , educated and/or expert in art , know what art is and what isn’t art . The rest of us just know what we like ; ignorantly think we know art when we see it and think we know humbug when we see it .
Maybe just drag a piece of hillside across town ( the huge expense is irrelevant for the moment ) , build a platform on your museum grounds ( the huge expense ……… ) , and let it sit there with no explanation . Provide no explanation whatsoever . Well , maybe , that’s art . ( Although the piece of junk is still a piece of junk , the wire is still just tangled wire , the rock is still a rock ) But please don’t lecture the rest of us on how it’s amazing art . Maybe sometimes a cigar is just a cigar , after all , a tangle of wire is just a tangle of wire ……………
You artists : Am I getting warmer ?
No ? Okey .
Can you imagine the gaping stack of hubris it takes to sell the idea of moving a big scoop of hillside across southern California , along Los Angeles streets , over to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art grounds , touting it as great art , and finding the funds to pull it all off ? Amazing ! I don’t know art , but I know the art of the con when I see it .
I told you at the start it’s just my opinion . So , you’ve got another opinion . Okey . By the way , there’s a cliff up along the Angeles Crest Highway that you might be interested in for your living room . Let’s talk .
I remember when the piece of mountain was being moved along city streets to the museum . It was a real big deal . I don’t remember the cost of the whole thing . The artist and the museum had , evidently , planned this project for years . Had to wait for just the right chunk of rock . How exciting ! Finally the artwork was coming ! It was all so —— do they still use avant- garde ?
Artwork ? I’m no artist . Probably an army of artists is already sniffing and scoffing at my pedestrian opinion . I have no business criticizing a piece of art . I’ll agree to that analysis because I don’t .
I hate to have to resort to this statement , but I know what I like . I don’t like this big hunk of rock . I don’t like it for a couple of reasons . One : waste of money . Two :
Two is a little more complicated . Two requires me to suggest a measure of humbug trickery employed here by a group of influential people in the art community . It’s a joke , right ? Not a subtle one , either . It’s right out there in front of our faces . In front of the world’s face . Look : This is the LA art scene ! Here it is ! Take it !
The joke is hiding in plain sight . It’s a form of the Big Lie . It’s the fairy tale king parading around in his underwear believing he’s showing off his gorgeous royal getup but he’s been tricked into believing that . Maybe I’m being a little unfair ? Believe what you will . You’ve paid your entry fee to the Museum of Art , so go for it ! Enjoy . Walk under it . It may change your life .
Welcome to LA .
By the way , I’ve got a bridge that crosses an arroyo in Pasadena that you might like to buy . Or , even better , maybe a piece of the arroyo ?
So , there you have it . One man’s opinion . Live with it .