Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Monet to Dali

IMG_5870_1A coworker and I took a couple of hours off during the day to see the Monet to Dali exhibit at the Vancouver Art Gallery. She'd already been but she really badly wanted to see it again, and I can see why. Lots of good stuff there both by big names like Matisse, Picasso, van Gogh and Monet, as well as quite a few I hadn't heard of.

It was nice to see some Rodin sculptures up close, including the Thinker, because it's even easier to see in person than in pictures what a truly talented sculptor he was. The same goes for van Goghs. Goregeous colours, movement, intensity. All good stuff.

As always, I see things I like, attempt to commit their names to memory and then forget them the minute I leave the exhibit, so unfortunately I can't really say exactly what it was I liked. I'd know them if I saw them.

Now that I've thought of it, my favourite of the exhibit was one by a German painter. It was painted as if you are the artist looking through the mirror at yourself and the room behind you. The artist's image appears to be approaching the mirror, with a look of disgust, holding a cloth with which he might possibly be using in the near future to blot himself out. Real concert tickets and letters are wedged in the edges of the mirror, so it was sort of a collage.

The others that stick out in my mind were a flat, kind of cubist painting of a river in blues, greens and oranges, a large canvas of a mother and child and one by a Czech painter - abstract in really bright colours and geometric shapes of a girl playing with a ball.

It's strange how peoples tastes can vary so widely, though. One woman near me was exclaiming over a painting of a villa in a Mediterranean setting which was done in a palette of pale pinks, yellows, sage greens and washed out blue. The colours were exactly the same colours that American artists use when they're painting pictures of adobe huts and cacti in the deserts of the American southwest, which are also coincidentally the exact same colours used to paint hospital interiors. They make me want to vomit every time I see them painted together anywhere.

The same goes for Dali. Some people like him and I don't. I like surrealism, but I just don't like Dali. There's nothing subtle about his paintings. They're well excecuted but they feel crude and blunt to me, like American humour. It's like they're slapping you upside the head and screaming out I'M SURREAL! I BET YOU DIDN'T EVEN NOTICE HOW FUCKING SURREAL I AM! And since every painting is a conversation, I say no shit, you're surreal, and then walk away in search of something less pretentious.

A year ago today I had a lot of dumb ideas, none of which I have realized.
Two years ago today I was working 7 days a week and went a little insane.