Sunday, July 24, 2011

Oh Look...It's Art

This weekend was full of fun and excitement. I was able to visit with my friends Samuel and James, who I haven't seen in at least 5 years. It was so nice to get to catch up. They took me to a pub along the Thames River, where I had the best fish & chips. While we were walking on the footpath (aka sidewalk) I saw some very interesting things.

Here is London this thing called a Pedibus. It is where you get about 8-10 of your friends together and drink while riding this 10 person bike-bus through London. I have to say it looks really fun. If we had the time during our busy schedule, I would suggest going. I guess I'll have something to look forward to the next time I come to London.

Samuel, James, their friend Mike, and I went to Tate Modern Museum. This is a converted power station with a huge ramp once you enter. I was excited to see the collections. Some were moving and awe inspiring, while others only made me say, "Oh's art."

When I was in college I took a photography course and saw a few pieces of Diane Arbus's work. I must say that in person her work is amazing. If you want to see some of her pieces, then click on her name and it will take you to Google Images. I also saw some Andy Warhol, Picasso, and Monet's Water-Lilies.

Art is supposed to give one strong emotions, whether it is good or bad isn't the point. However, when I first saw the pill of sunflower seeds in the middle of the room I thought, "This is ridiculous!" Then I read what the seeds were. They were individually, handcrafted porcelain sunflower husks that are also hand painted. (In the picture is James on the left and Samuel on the right).

But my favorite sight to see was the duck tape work done by a handyman who I can only guess was trained in the Southern USA. And for your information, the duck tape is holding on to a boat that is in the Thames River. If it was created for submarines, why not use it on boats.


  1. The Tate is awesome. A few years ago Jessica and I had a 7 hour layover in London on our way to Thailand. So we went out to explore London for a few hours and decided to spend some of that time at the Tate. What I remember is the crazy bridge behind the museum and this huge 20+ ft tall spider. Good to hear that you are having fun and can't wait to hear all about it when you get back to the states.

  2. The sunflower seeds are Ai Weiwei, no? I read about his earlier installation, and it sounded powerful. They filled a much larger space, and visitors could walk across them, until that option was shut down due health concerns of ceramic dust. Even without the interactive element, I think it is interesting, the idea of individual within the masses which the artist talks about. Especially considering that the sunflower is taken to symbolize the Chinese people. From the NYT blog: "Sunflower seeds are a ubiquitous Chinese street snack, and in Mr. Ai’s piece they are thought to represent both fellowship and the enforced conformity experienced during the Cultural Revolution, when propaganda posters depicted Chairman Mao as the sun and Chinese people as sunflowers turning toward him." Knowing that the artist is an outspoken political activist (he recently made the news headlines when he was detained later released by Chinese authorities), how does the meaning/impact of work change?