The Art of the Matter

     I’m going to this exhibition today and I’m very excited. I’m a big fan of the Dutch Masters (and I’m not talking the cigars). I don’t claim to know anything about art, but I know what I like. Basically, I like trees that look like trees, people who look like people, etc. I like subtle use of light and shadow. This is the main reason that I like artists like Johannes Vermeer. And it’s a main reason why I don’t like modern art. I mean, if a painting looks like either:



(a) something that a kid in kindergarten could do with finger paints (Mark Rothko – “Number 9”)




(b) something one of my cats threw up (Jackson Pollock – “Number 4”), I don’t see it as art. Sorry, I just don’t.






    The most modern I get are the Impressionists. I like the colors and you can still discern what the shapes are in the paintings. As is the case with this work by Claude Monet:


“Le Grenoillere” (1869)




     Picasso, I don’t get at all. I know there’s symbolism and all that but nobody can convince me that the craftsmanship in this:



“Woman With a Flower” (1932)

(There’s a woman? There’s a flower? I’m lost.)

is comparable to this famous Vermeer painting:





“Girl With a Pearl Earring” (1665)





     Maybe they’re not supposed to be compared? Like comparing punk to classical is a pointless musical exercise? I don’t know.

     I want to be open-minded, I really do. For example, I used to deride soccer as “hockey on grass” and claim that it was boring. Now, that I’m understanding it a bit more and following the Wolverhampton Wanderers, I now appreciate the “beautiful game”. Will this happen for me with modern art? I’m not sure. Maybe I’ll take a chance and go to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art one of these days. But, alas, today is not that day. Today I get to remain in my comfort zone and gaze at the artistry of works like this by Jan van der Heyden:


“View of the Westerkerk, Amsterdam” (1667-70)

(Courtesy of the Rose-Marie and Eijk van Otterloo Collection).




      Ah, very nice.

4 thoughts on “The Art of the Matter

  1. When it comes to art, I think the literalist label suits me. When it comes to the meaning of life and all that, I enjoy indulging in all kinds of existential questions. (Over a nice bottle of wine with good music and friends, of course.) 😉

    I know you miss it up here. I can take it for granted and that’s not good. Have a great day too!

  2. Picture (a) made me reach for my glasses. Picture (b) looks like the floor under a toddler’s high chair at meal time. And Picasso’s “Woman with flower”? LOL If the woman’s head is the purple concave shape at the top of the painting, I’d say she looks angry. I would look angry too if that’s how an “artist” portrayed me. LOL

  3. LOL! It’s always comforting to know that I’m not alone in my impressions of modern art. The show was fantastic, by the way. I took my mother, who know absolutely nothing about art, and she loved it too.

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