How To Be A Successful Artist

Posted on January 24, 2013


Having lived down the road from the Art Institute of Chicago for a year, I finally decided it was time to pay the good ol’ place a visit. It was an amazing experience looking at sculptures, jewelry, weapons etc from ancient civilizations and transitioning to the renaissance age and then to the modern age. And as I went from modern to contemporary, I realized why the world today is going to dogs.

“The Hang Up”

When I first came across this “Work of Art”, I thought it was an upcoming exhibit being set up. But to my horror, this was art important enough to be showcased in one of the so-called finest museums in the country. People paid $25 per head to come see a museum where this is an exhibit.

Here’s the explanation to this “Work of Art”:

"The Hang Up" Explanation

“The Hang Up” Explanation

An ironic commentary on painting, Hang Up was, according to the artist, her first piece to achieve the level of “absurdity or extreme feeling” she intended. I think she achieved her objective.  And I give her full marks for that.

And then this exhibit gets even better:

“Brilliant Yellow”

“Brilliant Yellow” Close-up

“From 1963 to 1975, she limited her “imagery” to bands of black combined with colors at the edges of the canvas as a means of emphasizing the essential, objectlike qualities of painting.” You mean there’s more??!!

I saw many people staring at these exhibits. Most of them looked dumbfounded. Rightly so. And believe me, there were many more exhibits that your newborn baby could have easily topped. No seriously. Some of it was just balls of clay smashed with a sledgehammer. Come on, your child can do that!

My favorite “work of art” in this contemporary art section was an untitled collection of candy, supposed to be a musing on Love and Loss. Please click here to join my awe and amazement. More seriously, I am truly sorry that the artist’s partner died of AIDS complications and I appreciate the rainbow-colors in this arrangement that lends itself to hail this same sex union. But the real reason I love this arrangement is that they allowed us to take candy from it, and what’s more, we could just throw the empty wrappers back into the pile and no one yelled at us. It was like preserving art!

I don’t know whether to rejoice, because this means each one of us can be an artist, or despair, because art now means being just absurd enough to be beyond comprehension, and thereby rising in value! May be all I needed to do to get my collection of short stories – The Book of Nothings – published was to send the publishers a fat and blank manuscript with each page outlined in a bright color!

Special thank you to Satbir Bajwa for posing with his favorite work of art, the Brilliant Yellow!

Posted in: randomness