Growing up, many of us learned about the famous artistic work “Mona Lisa,” or the geniuses who constructed the masterpieces, such as Da Vinci or Picasso.
These fixtures of art are the building blocks upon which we have based and developed the language of art. If I brought Picasso or Da Vinci back to life, one has to wonder if they would be ashamed to have their works of art displayed amongst these modern works of art.
Has art lost its identity in the struggle to stay afloat in a world where businesses have forgotten about each other, and have instead focused on trying to ‘one up’ their own product?
We have a few examples on our own campus, where students might find themselves stopping and wondering why they do not pursue the career of an artist, for indeed there appears to be no prerequisite of talent any more.
“The Rock Cage” is a popular source of humor on campus primarily because no one on campus knows the origins or purpose of this “Rock Cage.”
The “Rock Cage” is located at the edge of the Quad, and is simply a big metal cage with rocks filling the middle. Fortunately for the students not all is lost! There is an expertly placed peephole through the middle of the rock pile in case one would like to compare the appearance of the rocks in the middle to the ones on top of the pile.
Someone might even think that this contraption’s use is as a collection bin of sorts for rocks taken off the Quad, to save students from tripping on them.
Unfortunately, you will have to toss the rocks in another field someone else is using due to the cage being blocked off at the top.
Fear not though, because the artist specifically selected those rocks for his masterpiece, and it is understandable he would not want his message misconstrued with rocks from anywhere.
Another anomaly on campus is the “Bronze Mystery” between Gordinier Hall and Harbold Hall.
An imaginative mind might come to the conclusion that this mystery resembles a piece of a plane wing that crashed and was left in the same spot to rust for the past five hundred years. A logical mind might never know what to think of this “Bronze Mystery.” I know that I can come up with at least a few positive comments to take with me after studying this object for a while.
For one, even if it has no purpose at least the object is fairly symmetrical. Secondly, the layer of rust is evenly coated all along the object to not take away from the “junkyard feel.” Lastly, it is perfectly placed in the middle of the construction zone to give the workers something enjoyable to look at for the next five years of construction.
This last conundrum falls more under the “Architectural Art” description.
There have been many a confused face I have seen as the student rushes to the bathroom and opens the door only to see another door.
This would seem to make sense if there were a piece of art hanging in between the doors, or even a window if you wanted to have an enjoyable view on your journey to the bathroom. Unfortunately, it is just a blank passageway to another door.
Luckily, there does seem to be a hint of a purpose to this gaffe. If you get the chance to be entering the bathroom as someone else is leaving, it presents an opportunity to potentially meet a friend in these close quarters.
From these examples, I believe artists around the world need to stop trying to do the “most different masterpiece,” and focus again on raising the bar on the quality of work allowed to be graced with the title of “Art.”