I said I was going to have an artsy weekend, and by golly, I did. Usually my weekend plans are in tatters by the time Friday afternoon rolls around, and I never, ever spend Sunday afternoons writing letters and reading, though this is my intention every single weekend. But this weekend, I made plans and I kept them.
Friday morning I went to see the El Greco/Velazquez exhibit at my local neighborhood museum (it is convenient in more ways than one to live near a major university). Much to my surprise--and dismay--it cost fifteen bucks to get in. Fifteen bucks! I guess that's to keep those pesky poor people out, I don't know.
The problem with major exhibits that cost fifteen bucks is that you feel like you better have a profound viewing experience, because a) you paid for it; and b) at those prices, you won't be going back a second time. The other problem is they're crowded with people who are also after profound viewing experiences. Many of them have rented the $3 headsets, so their viewing experience gets in the way of yours as they cluster in front of paintings and listen to the voices in their heads.
Me, I like to live with a painting. I personally think that the best sort of art exhibit would be the kind where they let you check out the paintings one at a time to take home (along with a security guard) so you could ponder them at different times of day, in different lights.
The next best thing is to be able to go back to a gallery or museum over a period of a few weeks (or a lifetime) and visit the paintings and think about them and revise your thoughts about them and just exist with them. Since I live only five minutes away from this museum, and most of its exhibits are free, I've been able to do that.
But not with El Greco. Instead, I got bandied about by crowds and pushed aside by senior citizens on tour, but by walking back and forth and around and about, I got to spend a little time with the paintings and appreciate them. At the very least, I got a good feel for what the fuss was all bout.
On Saturday, I went to see "The Secret Life of Bees" with my friend Bridgette. I am one of five people alive who hated the book, and guess what? I didn't like the movie either, though the acting is great. What I liked was grabbing a bite to eat with Bridgette afterwards and tearing the movie apart and then going to buy hand lotion. It was a very girly sort of thing to do, and I hardly ever do girly, so I enjoyed myself immensely.
Sunday--The Quilters' Guild Show. Fabulous. Genius. No headsets. Many of the quilts were true works of art and made me think of all those jerk boys in college who asked jerk questions like, "If women are equal to men, why are there no great women artists?" I would have liked to march all those boys--who hopefully have wised up on their own by now--in front of those quilts and said, "Here are your great women artists, you big jerks. Women make art everyday; you're just too stupid to see it."
But I would have said it in a kind, gentle voice, as to not bruise their egos and thus blind them to the beauty in front of their very eyes.
Oh, but there's beauty before our eyes all over the place, that's the good news. Children, flowers, the light playing its little games in the trees. I suppose life could be artsy fartsy all the time if we'd just let it.
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