What am I looking at?

Over the past decade, I have been sharing with all y’all my view on numerous subject matters, ranging from Bigfoot encounters to the discovery of noxious gas surrounding Uranus. I have shared my opinions on politics, current events and even this crazy weather. I have covered issues that most newspaper folks wouldn’t even think about tackling, but inexplicably, I have yet to receive a Pulitzer Prize. So what topic could I possibly touch upon today that I haven’t already kicked around in 11 years of journalism? Hmm? How about the world of modern art? 

Okay, I must confess that I don’t know diddly-squat about modern art. My manure-covered boots have never entered a museum of modern art. I don’t know the difference between Impressionism and Expressionism, but I do know I don’t like most of the artwork that I have viewed on television broadcasts and online. Heck, I don’t even know what in tarnation I’m even looking at half the time. Have y’all seen the stuff they have on display at art museums these days? Most of today’s artwork looks like something painted by a hallucinating chimpanzee.

Having a rather artistic 5-year-old granddaughter, I’m used to looking at abstract paintings. Sure, her family portraits kinda resemble cave drawings from a cross-eyed Neanderthal, but most of the time I can distinguish a person from a unicorn. That’s more than I can say about the stuff hanging on the walls at museums of modern art. And what’s even more mind-boggling is the price tag on these works of “art”.

Back in 2017, a painting by Jean-Michel Basquiat appropriately named “Untitled” was sold for $110.5 million. It was probably called “Untitled” because the artist didn’t even know what the heck he had just painted. It looks like something you’d see spray painted on a wall in a crack house. And yet, some billionaire spent millions to have the so-called masterpiece hanging up in his den. Go figure.

Hey, I’m not bashing all modern art, just the stuff that looks like the artwork young parents have stuck to the fridge with magnets. When I look at a painting, I want to know what I’m looking at. And what were they thinking when they started Cubism?  Picasso painted some portraits that look like he had full-blown cataracts. Or maybe he picked up his paintbrush after emptying a bottle of sangria.

Now Leonardo Da Vinci could paint. Rembrandt could paint. So could Vincent Van Gogh, but I’m not about to purchase their artwork and hang it on the wall between my mounted wild boar head and a vintage Farrah Fawcett poster. Personally, I am a fan of Charles Russell and Frederic Remington. Now those two fellas could paint a pretty picture. On the other hand, most paintings by Jackson Pollock look like the floor of a Sherwin-Williams store after a 6.0 earthquake.

I also like Norman Rockwell’s paintings. His art tells a story, whether it’s saying grace at the family dinner table or the image of a little boy reading a doctor’s diploma. Looking at a Norman Rockwell painting can make you feel warm inside, whereas a Picasso might create a feeling of vertigo.

I reckon art is really subjective. What some people see as a magnificent piece of art might be construed as a total waste of paint to others. You know what they say, that beauty is in the eye of the beholder? Well, those folks who spend millions on a splattering of oil paint should make an appointment with the optometrist.

What can you say about Clint Younts? His artistic eye might be affected by his Lone Star beer. Now, if he walked about a piece of paper with his manure covered boots, he might call that art. Hmmm …


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