We have some new art for our East Wing digs. Actually we’re having a whole art gallery installed in the family wing. It’s a most impressive collection of contemporary and abstract art, if by impressive you mean art that nobody ever looks at.
I know Big Guy’s been taking a lot of heat lately over his indecisiveness regarding what to do about General McChrystal’s request for additional troops to win the war in Afghanistan decisively.I don’t really think this particular selection is going to help him make up his mind, or polish his image as the decider. But it might prove helpful to historians of the future trying to get into BO’s psyche.
Another contemporary work chosen by the Obamas is a word painting by the California artist Ed Ruscha. Called “I Think I’ll … ” it deals with the subject of indecision.
But there’s much, much more; some of which might help explain our wardrobe choices. Here are a few samples from the rest of the 47 pieces on loan from the National Gallery of Art. You’ll see immediately how conceptual they are. Much better than the old landscapes and still lifes that were so representational and so last century.
Unlike many former White House occupants, the Royals are very comfortable with modern art. It's lack of form may lead some to believe it lacks substance, but in fact, it’s form is its substance. Get it?!
There is also a selection of artwork by African Americans. It’s probably just me, but I think if the Bush’s would have had this in the White House, critics might have said it looked sort of, well, racist. In a stereotypical way. But I don’t really know that much about art.
The painting below, of course, is neither contemporary nor abstract: just diverse. I’m not sure if I should mention this or not to the O’s but the University of Michigan Museum of Art just got in trouble with their Indian dioramas: Native Indians found them offensive and demanded they be removed. Which of course UofM is going to do. After all they’ve been on display for 50 years, it’s probably time to retire them anyway. I only mention it to remind everyone just how tricky this whole diversity thing gets.
Come to think of it, life around here does imitate art. Or is it the other way around? I can never keep that straight. The only part I’m sure about is the imitation.
UPDATE: That other Michelle has posted an expose on one of Alma Thomas' paintings. I think it's just another example of racism though. Anyone can clearly see the colors are different.