The occasional, often ill-considered thoughts of a Roman Catholic permanent deacon who is ever grateful to God for his existence. Despite the strangeness we encounter in this life, all the suffering we witness and endure, being is good, so good I am sometimes unable to contain my joy. Deo gratias!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A 17-minute Stroll Through Contemporary Art

A bit of a change of pace today...

I tend to be an overly critical and cautious observer when it comes to contemporary art. I'll admit to a partiality toward some abstract art in which the artist's use of color and shape fascinates me. But these are exceptions. I actually find too much of contemporary art to be beyond comprehension -- at least beyond my comprehension -- and some to be so transparently fraudulent that it's hard to believe so many otherwise intelligent people are taken in by the artists' little jokes on the world. And then just when I'm all jaded and yearning for a double shot of realism, I encounter an artist whose work almost knocks me off my feet. For example, this happened decades ago when I first saw a late period Picasso in a museum. As much as I wanted to dislike him and his art, I found Picasso's work remarkable. The same is true of some other early contemporaries, like Dali or Miró or Chagall. And there are certainly many of the more contemporary contemporaries that intrigue me when I stumble across their work in a gallery or museum. But I must admit, I haven't paid much attention to the current scene in contemporary art, although I do take in the occasional museum exhibition just to see the kind of art that's being produced these days. I guess what I'm saying is I'm far from being a competent judge.

And then yesterday a friend sent me a link to a remarkable video presentation by an American artist, Sean Hembrey. I won't spoil it by revealing the details of his stroll through the world of contemporary art, but it's interesting, entertaining, and really pretty funny. One quickly comes to appreciate the genius of this young man from the backwoods of Arkansas. Regardless of your opinion of contemporary art (unless you're a total Philistine), I can promise you'll enjoy the video...17 minutes well spent.

If, after viewing the video, you'd like to see more of Sean Hembrey's work -- his "international biennial" which he has entitled, "Seek" -- click here: Seek by Sean Hembrey.

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