“Actually, they’re not funny… they’re art”

Another quote from the aforementioned article on ugliness, from Architecture Boston: this one’s from our local Museum of Bad Art‘s “permanent acting interim executive director,” Louise Sacco, on the role the museum plays in the Boston art landscape.

The Museum of Bad Art has had a lot of experience with people who know nothing about art. Some art educators have developed a program in which they bring a group of high school students to our museum and then take them to the MFA. MOBA somehow frees kids to laugh and point, to have their own opinions and argue about things. They then take that experience to the MFA, where they might otherwise feel intimidated, or feel that there is a “correct” response. Maybe the ugly plays a similar role in our culture. It frees us, and by freeing us, it opens us up to new ideas and directions.

Emily & I visited MoMA in New York this morning, and saw both the Matisse Cutouts show and a show of contemporary painting. The Matisse show was (to me) beautiful; against that backdrop, the (to me) ugliness and perceived insincerity of the contemporary show was frustrating, as I could only think of work that felt (to me) like it better deserved to be on display. I don’t think I let myself feel intimidated by art, but I should try to be more cognizant of what it is I react to when I do not like a piece I see in a museum.

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