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Monday, Oct. 20, 2014

Just calling it art doesn't make it art

Friday, November 1, 2002

I'll be the first to admit that I wouldn't know art if it hit me in the head. But a lettuce leaf between two slabs of granite wrapped in copper wire is not art. But you can see this and other examples of "Poor Art" at one of the nation's premiere museums. And yes indeed, taxpayer dollars are helping to fund this exhibit.

Fourteen Italian artists have mounted an exhibit of their new art forms at the prestigious Smithsonian Institution's Hirschhorn Museum to a bewildered public. A row of 30 neon zeros stands at the museum opening while four mirrors, each facing one another, stands in one corner. But the lettuce-laden granite slabs must surely be the show's highlight.

A brochure "explaining" the exhibit says that the artists make "works that refer to fundamental forces of nature such as gravity, tension, magnetism and energy." Now explain that to me in plain English (or Italian for that matter).

A wax forearm and hand made in glow-in-the-dark material stands alone in one room. I think I've seen the same thing at gag shops in the mall. But then again, I don't know art.

The sole redeeming factor of this exhibit is that it's free. Other than that, I firmly believe some artist somewhere is laughing his fanny off that we Americans would accept such junk as art.

It just proves that you can fool all the people all the time. Well you can if you call yourself an artist.



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