“Painting is easy when you don’t know how, but very difficult when you do” – Edgar Degas

Continuing with our series, “Tips on Disguising Your Loafing,” we move on to the art gallery. Sure it sounds boring, but the alternative is mowing the lawn. Plus, it’s an ideal venue for killing an afternoon in relative comfort since galleries tend to be climate controlled – for the paintings, not the patrons, but you reap the benefits. Also, they’re quiet and reasonably well furnished with chairs and benches. They do tend to discourage long term napping, however. Museums and art galleries tend to be inexpensive – some only ask for a donation so let your conscience be your guide – and as an added benefit, you get to pretend to be cultured. Just memorize a few lines to use in case anyone asks your opinion of a work of art, phrases like “It has a quiet intensity”, or, “I much prefer his blue period” although that second one probably won’t work for sculpture.

Orange,_Red,_Yellow

The first paintings were done in caves about 20,000 years ago, and they were extremely cool depictions of prehistoric beasts like bulls and elks and mastodons. Painting has gotten steadily worse in the intervening millennia, with the result that today you can’t really tell the art from the rest of the wall. The Idler once viewed a collection of paintings by an artist named Mark Rothko. An original Rothko entitled “Orange, Red, Yellow” recently sold for $87 Million Dollars. The colors used were orange, purple and a yellowish green. Have you ever heard this description of art: “It isn’t art if you can do it.”? Not only can you do “Orange, Red Yellow”, but you can do it with a roller. You can do it by mistake. A drywall guy can produce a Rothko by spilling some dye in his joint compound and getting busy with the trowel. Google it and see for yourself.

Of course, there are paintings that don’t look like unfinished remodeling projects, but they tend to be centuries old portraits of royalty. You know, the Count of Monte Crisco’s stepdaughter or the Duke of Earl’s nephew. They were all people with lots of cash which in turn means they weren’t necessarily Brad and Angelina in the looks department. I mean if you go back to the Fifteenth century, even Mona Lisa was considered a babe. Or how about King George III, have you gotten a good look at him? The man was a troll. You’d start a revolution just so you wouldn’t have to look at his picture on your money. Seriously, if Kate Upton had been queen in 1776, we might all be taking the lift to our flat to watch the telly.

Finally, if you wander into a collection of really ultra-modern art you might encounter an “installation.” These are often mistaken for piles of trash or mounds of construction debris and occasionally a custodian will be fired for bundling one off to the dumpster. Here I think you should find a comfortable bench and observe the patrons who truly appreciate the work. These are the kind of people who bid on “Orange, Red, Yellow.” Maybe you can sell them a stop sign if you title it, “Red, White.” Tell them it has a quiet intensity.

Comments – DickVerbo@hotmail.com

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