In what reality did I think taking my sons and one of their friends to the museum was a good idea? Oh I know, they lured us in with the evil empire known as Lego. You know, the ones you step on at 1 am duplicating the pain you would feel if impaling your foot or go into financial ruin buying for Christmas.
I wanted to get there when they opened at 10 but we arrived at 11:30 and hangry. It was time for lunch and the newly remodeled museum offered a restaurant brought to you by none other than restaurateur extraordinaire- Cameron Mitchell. This was going to be expensive.
But it wasn’t expensive. Kids meals were only $5. The meals became expensive when each boy decided to order a $4, artisan, handcrafted root beer infused with baby laughter.
I sounded like a complete hillbilly as I requested that my son’s peanut butter and jelly sandwich not be grilled but in fact be “cooked normal”. I also drove home the point when asking if I could order a kids cheeseburger as I didn’t “want all the funky stuff on my burger that was on the adult one”.
We sat down at a table overlooking the courtyard. “Mommy, why are all the guys wearing scarves?” This was the first topic of conversation while waiting for our meals.
“Well C, many stylish guys wear scarves. It’s a fashion statement.” Holy shit, he was right though as I looked around the all white room. The front desk guy, the museum patrons, hell, even one of the wait staff wore one.
My oldest, who is quickly catching up to me in the sarcasm department corrected my statement.
“Umm…no, it’s because they’re all artsy fartsy.”
Being the diplomat I was trying to be, I said, “well P, it’s probably a mix.”
After lunch we headed upstairs to several of the galleries hosting modern art. I knew this would be a challenge having to put a positive spin on art as I truly held the belief that some of this was simply crap.
Art Piece #1
The “artist” had taken an Ikea storage unit, the kind you hang your clothes on and store in the basement, added 3 “ghost shirts” (their words, not mine) to the 3 white hangers and finished it off by taking a blue sharpie and doodling on the 2 fabric tabs.
“Wait a minute, I know that storage system,” I said as if I had just come across an old friend trying to remember their name.
“Oh my God, they put an Ikea storage system in the museum and called it art?! What the…..” Language!
I must have said this a little to loud as I was given the death look by at least 2 museum goers.
Art Piece #2
Like most of the “pieces” I cannot remember the name. This one basically was a mattress procured from a local crack house that leaned up against the wall. The second layer of Le Mattress, was a faux window and the final layer being of debris. There is no other way to describe this. The debris, consisted of old pieces of wood, wheels, newspaper and who knows what else. The plate describing this pile was to represent death, deterioration and destruction. Fantastic.
As we stepped into yet another “modern” gallery we were surrounded by extremely simple canvases showcasing a jack shape or squiggly lines. In each gallery there was always a cluster of 4 mid-century modern chairs along with a coffee table with “activity pieces” for the children that weren’t welcomed. There was a middle-aged woman, we will call Frida, sitting in one of those chairs clearly attempting to have the art speak to her. She was truly in her element.
As we quickly made our way around the room, I went behind a wall holding another few canvases while the boys were on the other side. All of a sudden I heard clanking and stuff dropping. ‘Shit’ I thought. I will have to file for bankruptcy to pay for what they have probably broken.
As I turn the corner, I see that the boys have taken the remaining 3 seats surrounding Frida to build a work of art with the allotted pieces. Frida is doing everything in her power not to make eye contact with any of the boys nor me as I walk over. Kind of like when I give my chihuahua a bath and she won’t look me in the eye because she is so pissed. I think Frida’s strategy was to wait them out.
‘Silly woman, do you know nothing about children and breakable things? You don’t stand a chance. Off with you!’ I thought.
2 minutes later, as she stared straight ahead, completely infuriated, she huffed, got up and walked out.
I felt guilty for a moment but then I thought ‘why have these stupid building blocks here if people “want to have a moment?”
Here are the boys after Le Snot decided to leave:
Towards the end we were in a gallery that focused on cubism. Fast art lesson for anyone unaware: Cubism is taking geometric shapes and make something like the human form.
Again, there was an area in the middle where children could try their hand at being the artist. By now I was an empty shell of a woman and this showed through in my art. Here is my attempt at Cubism: