I Don’t “Get” Modern Art

It’s no secret that I don’t get modern art.  It seems pretension and stupid to me.  A very small sliver is good, but that doesn’t make up for this:

(To be fair that is performance art)

I should tell you how, as an eight year old, I led a revolution against modern art and tortured the museum curator.  Those were the days.

A little background first.

My dad loves painting landscapes, I grew up in a house where painting was beloved. I went to an art class after school when I was fourteen.

So even at that age I adored art I liked.  I loved most of the museum.

However, I was perhaps a bit too blunt about my opinions on art at that age. The curator led my class into the modern art section. We sat down in front of a giant painting that was nothing but a giant orange-red spot against a grey background.

You could tell the curator adored the painting, because she gushed on and on about its deep meaning of “love”, “anger”, and all these things she said it represented.

I didn’t get it.  All I saw was a giant spot.  To me art required some skill, but I could make a spot. Why, I did that the other day when I decorated my doll’s dress with the red marker.

So, when she said, “Any questions”, like the precocious child I was, I raised my hand and declared, “It’s a spot.”

Her lips pressed together and she plastered on a sweet smile, responding, “No, you’re not seeing it correctly. It’s more than a spot. It’s a representation of the artist’s message to the world.”

I frowned, only seeing a spot. My hand shot up again and I said, “No, it’s spot. I can draw a spot.”

Her nostrils flared as she inhaled and in a voice that would make Dolore’s Umbridge sound coarse, told me, “You’re too young to get it. This is not a spot, but a work of genius.”

But now the other kids were joining in on the fun. We were like dogs with a bone. A crowd of baby chicks that started chirping, “It’s a spot.”

More hands shot up and more of my peers said, “Yeah, it’s a spot”.

The curator went a little red in the face, and she looked upset by our inability to comprehend the genius of this artist.  “You don’t get it,” she sputtered, continuing to argue we were wrong.

Then one of my class mates, pointed at her pants and said, “I have spots too!  Pink ones, yellow ones, orange ones…”

“Those are polka dots,” the curator said icily.

“So…” the girl cocked her head to the side. “Is that a giant polka dot?”

“No! It’s not a polka dot. Let’s move on. Next painting,” the curator said, clearly defeated by a band of eight years olds who just could not see anything more than a spot.

So, yeah that was the time I led my class in revolution agains the infamous “Dot” painting.

Even after all these years, I still think it was just a spot.


8 thoughts on “I Don’t “Get” Modern Art

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