Art Appreciation: A Piece of Cake | Select
No one will ever accuse me of being an art lover. I have an eclectic collection of decor on my walls, some of which would call art and most of which certainly wouldn’t call art…and might even call tasteless.
Anyway, I know what I like and what I don’t like.
These dislikes don’t always correspond to what people consider to be high art. And I agree with that.
In fact, I agree enough with that to tell you something that will probably make you think less of me. But no matter – I stand by my assessment: I see little redeeming value in the Mona Lisa.
I understand this is meant to be a large painting. I do not understand why.
It’s a rather ordinary-looking painting of a woman, in my opinion. It’s dark and a bit boring. The background decor is unremarkable. If the painting represented the first paragraph of a novel, I’d bet most people would drop the novel before they bothered to finish Chapter 1. I’m not saying the Mona Lisa is rendered without talent; clearly the painting has been skillfully executed. But great art is supposed to evoke emotions in its viewers, and the Mona Lisa leaves me indifferent.
I would say that I am clearly missing something because a lot of people think painting is a treasure. It is the most viewed painting in the world and is worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Still, I can’t help but wonder if so many people are going to see it not because they think it’s awesome, but rather because they’re told they should think it’s awesome .
Despite my mixed enthusiasm for painting, I harbor no hard feelings towards him and certainly have no desire to throw him a piece of cake.
Recently, a man dressed as an old woman in a wheelchair to get a front-row viewing position of the painting and, after trying and failing to break the protective glass around the painting, took a piece of cake and smeared it on the glass. while telling passers-by to think about the earth and the fact that people are trying to destroy it.
(You’d think that would wipe that smug smile off the Mona Lisa’s face, but it doesn’t.)
I agree that I may be wrong in my assessment of the Mona Lisa. But I don’t think I’m wrong in my assessment that there is no plausible relationship between the Mona Lisa and climate activism.
If you want to make a climate statement, why not choose an artist whose work actually has a negative impact on the environment? I think we can agree to give da Vinci a pass for that one.
And even if we could somehow blame climate change on a 16th century oil portrait, what does cake smearing on this art have to do with climate change ? I racked my brain, but the connection is as elusive to me as the wonder of the artwork itself.
Perhaps if the media had bothered to tell us important details like what kind of cake it was and what frosting covered it, then perhaps the association would be obvious. For example, maybe it was an Earth Day cake decorated with blue icing to look like a globe.
I’m no more a dessert connoisseur than I am an art connoisseur, but I like most confectionery much more than the Mona Lisa – so my assessment of the incident is that it was a waste of cake.