So out of the dozen or so big office buildings in my neighborhood, three of them have large sculptures in front of them. All of them of the corporate art variety.
I’m not a trained art critic, so you can take all this with a grain of salt. I took some art classes in college, I spent a lot of time BSing with my roommate who is now an art professor and my mother is an artist who took us to most of the major art museums in Europe when I was around 10. That’s where I get my insight into art. It’s not a ton. But one thing I do have is some historical context for art. But again, take it with a grain of salt.
Modern Art isn’t what I imagine what most people think of- modern art is not all art that is new. The modern period was a historical period of time in the 20th century. OK, some I’m not a historian either, so I’ll just say it was from sometime around WWI to like, the 50’s. I am just spitballing here, I have no idea if that’s actually correct. But dates aren’t what’s important. What’s important is that people understand that it had a beginning and an end.
The modern era was when we humans thought we had everything figured out. Factories were going to mass produce happiness. Internally consistent but dubious in the real world political systems were going to end all pain and misery (or conversely, crudely constructed nationalist cults were going to return us to a better time).
So art from this era was anti-human, because humans are messy and stupid. This is what I gather from that era. When people ask- what does it mean? The answer is- it doesn’t mean anything. It’s just hubris. People painted and sculpted hubris.
I’m just trying to explain the growing animosity I’ve been feeling towards this era of art.
But anyway, modern art is over. There was the postmodern era after that, and maybe something after that. Who knows, postmodernism kind of seems like the death of all human endeavor in any field it touches so maybe there will be nothing after postmodernism. Who paints anymore anyway?
Actually, I take that back. I like a lot of the current art I see. It’s trying to engage with humanity in a way that the major art movements didn’t really do for a while.
At any rate, some people for whom hubris is a way of life seem to want to keep going back to the modern era. So they put up odd sculptures in front of their buildings.
Maybe it’s just me, but I see a theme here
The obelisk in the middle of the stinky chlorine pond. Very, uh, pointy.
Let’s try another.
This one is also pointy, and in the middle of a stinky pond. This one spins. It creates one of those optical illusions like those display they have at cheap cosmetics stores at the mall. It is called Dancing Light in Space and was designed by Takamichi Ito and erected not surprisingly in 1986. I wonder what Takamichi Ito is doing now*.
Not getting the theme?
How about now?
How about now?
How abouuuut nowww?
Aaaaand this is officially the least mature post I have made.
*Oh shit he’s a real guy-
I’m no trained art critic but that looks like something from the Sharper Image catalog.