Friday, July 6, 2012

Thoughts, Reflections, and Fears at the Art Institute of Chicago

Statue of Shukongojin, Buddhist Deity

Shukongojin (Buddhist Deity Lightning Protector) brandishes his kongosho to penetrate ignorance and destroy evil (says the sign next to his sculpture). But he looks like he is the evil one. 

Large groups of old white women talking about China somehow makes me sad. 

I love ancient art but a part of me wants to smash the ancient art into pieces and scream, "There is no more history." 

A charismatic security guard stops me and my friend and asks, "Are you following me?" She is wonderful and her eyes are large in mock paranoia. I only laugh and promise that I'm not. But she deserves a better response. 

There are sketches by historic artists. The sketches have names like, "Head of Bearded Man". "Nude Woman Looking Down". I write down the names in my notebook because I think I can use them as titles someday. I wonder if this here is my inspiration. If this is the moment where I stumble onto genius. 

Peter Blume's The Rock 

Peter Blume's painting, "The Rock". I wish the world looked like this. I wonder if artists wish that too or maybe they see the world like their paintings already. Maybe that is genius. 

Every time I see a kid at the museum I can't help but think: "Another goddamn kid!" 

Misanthropy > Misogyny 

Many people takes pictures by the American Gothic painting. There is a crowd and people are waiting politely for their turn. It's strange, but it's stranger when they take a picture of the American Gothic painting by itself, as if there are not a thousand of the same picture online, or as if somehow they will forget how the painting will look, like it's not imprinted deeply in their American psyche.  

"Nude Man Looking Forlorn". "Head of a Boy in Contemplation". 

Ivan Allbright's Picture of Dorian Gray

I decide that Ivan Allbright is my favorite painter. He is the master of the grotesque. He paints in the realm of the terrible fantastic. I decide that I will study Ivan Allbright and become the expert on Ivan Allbright that I was always meant to be. All of my friends will call me Ivan because of my obsession with the deceased painter. I forget about all of that when I get home. I only remember later because I've written it down in my notebook. 

Roy Lichtenstein's "Ohhh...Alright..."

I am impressed by the Lichtenstein exhibit but the exhibit is so large that by the time we get to the end, and he is re-purposing his own work, I never want to see a Lichtenstein painting again. 

"Body of Nude Woman Sitting". "Children Frolicking Under the Sun, Unaware of Failure". 

I'm afraid of getting old because if I'm old I will re-purpose my old writing because I am flushed out of ideas because I'm old, and because my body is tired, and because I've never found genius, I'm just an old bitter hack.

I want to see everything different. I want to be completely new. 


  1. Albright! Yes. Did you see this one, "Into the World There Came a Soul Called Ida"?

  2. Oh God, Yes! I love that one too! If I could hang his paintings on my walls I would be the best of all writers!!

  3. Ida is one of my top ten all time fave paintings. It's like, so literal and on the nose, but I basically love it for that.

  4. Right? I feel like he shows the world for what it is - fleshy, decaying - it's horrifying to me!