I stopped in at The Detroit Institute of Art last week, for the first time in a long time. As you know, the DIA has been in the news a lot lately, and not for good reasons. Are we going to lose it because of Detroit’s bankruptcy? Are they actually going to auction of some or all of these works of art? There is a new story in the newspaper on virtually a daily basis.
This painting is entitled, “The First State Election In Detroit, Michigan 1837“. I’d like to think things have gotten better but…
Now, I know very little about art. I can barely tell the difference between a Van Gogh and a Van Halen. That doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate art, though. At least some of it. Quite honestly, some of the works at the DIA I did not get. They left me bewildered and scratching my head. I passed by a modern sculpture that made me wonder what the artist was thinking and what the museum was thinking to display this piece. This is art? People pay for this? I quickly rushed by it.
Sculpture entitled “Office Fetish”
I like things that, well, look like things. I guess I gravitated towards realism, paintings I could understand, even if I interpreted them differently than the little plaques on the walls do. As I wandered the cavernous rooms of the DIA, I was left awed and stunned by some of the beauty and detail of some of the paintings. There were a couple that left me visibly emotional and there was at least one that made me angry. There truly is something for everybody at the DIA. here are a few of my favorites.
Painting entitled “James Pearle”. I don’t know what the artist was trying to say, but I know what the painting said to me.
Painting entitled ,“Refugees”. I felt for these people.
As I left The DIA that day, I passed by the modern sculpture that had made no sense to me earlier. There was a mother and her daughter sitting in front of it. The child couldn’t have been more than eight or nine. They were speaking in hush tones and smiling as the mother was pointing at this work of art, sharing a secret I will never be in on. And that’s the thing about art. It’s completely subjective and there’s something for everyone. Just because I don’t appreciate it, that doesn’t mean someone else doesn’t.
Do yourself a favor. Get down to the DIA. And not just because we may lose it. And not just because it’s free. Get down there because these artists, many who have been dead for hundreds of years, have bared a piece of their soul for all the world to see. And a work of art that may have caused me to only move quickly out of the room, may move you in a completely different way.
And finally, I leave you with, “An Ego Is Terrible Thing.” Not my cup of tea, but I couldn’t agree more.