In May (2013) I visited the Tate Modern in London for the very first time. I always knew it was there as I lived in London a decade ago but once I’d fallen in love with the National Gallery there was no getting me elsewhere. Well when you think like that then you only prohibit yourself which is exactly what happened to me!
The Tate Modern is a modern gallery FILLED with art from some of the greatest artists in the world – and some others I don’t deem so great. But that’s exactly the beauty of art! It’s a physical manifestation of a feeling, thought, idea, experience or concept. That’s why what you think “can never be wrong” because it’s literally just someone’s take on something. Some pieces of art will appeal to us, others not.
RIGHT: TL: Matisse’s Portrait of Greta Moll. TR: Picasso’s Bust of a Woman. B: Strange Taxidermied birds in sketch.
I enjoy the old masters as I did art myself and have a huge appreciation for how difficult it is to paint something in a realistic style. I also appreciate those who threw that concept out and turned traditional art on its head. Some people view Jackson Pollock and say, “Well that’s crap. I could have thrown paint like that when I was hammered last Saturday!” Well that’s true. But you didn’t.
RIGHT: TL: Yves Tanguy’s Azure Day. TR: Joseph Beuys’ Lightning with Stag in its Glare. B: Jackson Pollock’s Yellow Islands.
Not only did Pollock purposely use paint in that way, he was taking a stand against the conventions of perfect art works. Traditional subject matter like animals representing holy figured during a time when Christians were being thrown to the lions, political art works to rebel against suppressive governments and portrait art became boring for some artists and they wanted to do something bizarre. In the words of Salvador Dali himself, “The only difference between me and a madman is that I’m not mad.”
With that in mind, not all modern art is for me. I appreciate the point but sometimes you just like things and something you just don’t. As easy as that. I enjoyed these huge murals, if I can call them that. In the bottom frame you’ll see art by Alexander Calder who was influenced by John Cage, one of the first American artists to create music on non traditional instruments (electronic music). Ironically, both my DJ friends who were with me instinctively liked those pictures without even reading who it was by or why it was created.
Below are more modern installations. There was also an electronic/lighting exhibition on at the time. I liked it and enjoyed viewing iconic pieces such as Piet Mondrian’s Red, Yellow and Blue which EVERYONE knows but no one knows the name or who did it! Over all though, I still enjoy traditional art more. 🙂