Today I visited the Norton Simon Museum for the second time in my life. And I have to say that it really is my favorite museum that I have so far been to. It has a nice collection of art, and further it is manageable.
Some museums out there are so big that you cannot even see all of the art if you wanted to, which is not a bad thing I guess since you can always come back the next day or two, but at least with the Norton Simon there is no information overload.
There is just the right amount of art.
And the cool thing about the museum is how it has its art progress through the ages. In the basement you start with Indian art; old statues of Hindu Gods, and Buddhist imagery. From that you move upstairs into the Catholic period depicting images of Christ, Madonna, and the Saints. Afterwards the museum proceeds to the still periods of the enlightenment and the Renaissance.
Next are impressionists like Monet, and soon you are in to the more modern periods of art with Picasso, and so forth.
I absolutely love the layout of the museum.
Through taking you from period to period in a chronological fashion you can see the changes in the style of artists and their creations as you progress through the halls. Early art was largely dominated by religious imagery, then it evolved into capturing normal life such as cattle grazing, food, etc. At this period artists paid a huge attention to detail and thus created works that one could almost swear were photographs. But then the impressionists came next and instead of makings things look exactly as they appeared they made an “impression” of them. My favorite example is Monet. His paintings when viewed up close do not look like much other than splotches of paint. But when you view them from a distance you can see the creation clearly.
This was a cool twist on art.
From then on you get to the Modern Period where artists like Picasso clearly are changing the scene. The paintings are dominated by shapes, lines, and almost anything but actually looking like whatever they are supposed to be.
And this is refreshing.
Because at this point, you have walked past well over a hundred images of life-like depiction. It is a nice change to see something new. This is how I began to understand modern art. Much like everything in life, things need to go somewhere, and they need to change. Lest, things become old, and stale.
Art is a prime example.
It should be ever changing, expanding, and evolving. At the very least so that it doesn’t get repetitive.
That got me thinking about art, and how it could change next. I wasn’t sure exactly where it could go, but I was mulling these thoughts over. Then on the way out the museum had copies of a print that the patrons were welcome to take with them.
I took one for Tyler and myself. On our drive back home Tyler threw his water jug in the backseat of the car and it landed on his print, which caused a bend in it. I then thought to myself since it was already beat up,
“What if I beat it up a bit more?”
We then stopped by an art store on the way home with both of us buying some supplies for our various projects, as we were so inspired by our day at the museum. We returned to my apartment and got set to work. After a period of an hour or so, I had my finished rough draft of my work pictured above.
To me this is an evolution of art for the post-modern era.
In today’s day and age there are so many amazing artists all over the world. Amazing painters, drawers, etc. are a dime a dozen, and further there is so much art, and other junk as well, out there. I thought to myself,
“Why bother spending a ton of money on standard art materials, and then waste my time trying to learn tons of art techniques only to become a substandard artist in that vein at best, when I can just use materials that are already out there, that are just going to be left discarded?”
These prints likely were going to go nowhere but the trash can, and I feel safe in declaring that most likely everyone who left the museum today with a print had it end up in the trash can.
We have so much material today. So fuck it, why not turn it into art?