Emperor’s Clothes

Yogurt Lid

At the risk of being called a Philistine* or at best an ignorant art buffoon (again) herewith an opinion. The Gabriel Orozco show at MOMA, a glorious institution whose fine reputation has again been recently sullied by the idiotic show of Tim Burton’s doodles, has now fallen prey to the Emperor’s Clothes syndrome affecting all the contemporary showcases loosely called museums and overstuffed “important” Chelsea galleries. Any art student will roll his eyes and recite the John Cage mantra- ‘art is everywhere’ all you have to do is look for it.

Orozco’s brilliant idea of Dannon Yogurt container lids stuck on a wall? Even this was one-upped by an ‘exhibit’ of three completely empty rooms last fall at the Centre Pompideau. All proving once again minimalism is a con, or at the very best, a boor. The next room at MoMA contained a car cut in half. Not well even. Big Daddy Roth or for that matter any average SoCal garage mechanic would attend to the finishing details better than this guy. Uneven quarter inch gaps in the cut down bumper? In a Museum? It’s like building a piece of furniture, calling it art and then, not even on purpose, having it fall over.

Actually all this stuff is fairly interesting. And the system has won as we are discussing it. That’s the goal it seems, a discourse. But in the end it’s gratifying to see huge crowds line up in front of the real paintings in the MoMA galleries upstairs and only occasional dust bunnies roll through this boringly pompous Orozco show.

I’m sure MoMA received a fortune from Disney to have the Burton show coincide with the release of Burton’s Alice in Wonderland. Which contributes nothing to the beautifully mystic and insanely original story by Lewis Carroll. The movie Alice only detracts from, much like Barbar’s son who cashed in on the family copyright only detracted from, not added to, the original wonderful stories of the Elephant King. Burton in MoMA? What do you think MoMA founder Alfred H. Barr would say? Get Van Gogh’s Starry Night and Picasso’s Guernica out of here. Make some room for overblown dashed off bad movie squiggles.
There is, I’m sure, a special section in Hell’s bleachers for these art trustees right next to the modernists who demolished, in the name of change, NYC’s original Penn Station.

(this is cool as I’ve always wanted to * something)
*Philistinism is a derogatory term used to describe a particular attitude or set of values. A person called a Philistine (in the relevant sense), is said to despise or undervalue intellectual content, and/or spiritual values. Philistines are also said to be materialistic, to favor conventional social values unthinkingly, and to favor forms of art that have a cheap and easy appeal (e.g. kitsch).
Perfect.

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