Thursday Apr 15, 2010

Through the Looking Glass

The other day, I was in a modern medical building. I sat down in the waiting room opposite a very large door, about the size of one of Mark Rothko’s famous color-field paintings.

The door resembled a Rothko painting in size—larger than life-size and enough space for you and friend to enter the mystery of the painting. There’s more. The various grades of randomly modulated horizontal shellacked colors that were applied by a tradesman, or maybe ever an automated door painting machine, also added to the illusion: the door was also clearly reminiscent in content of a Rothko color-field painting.

So, it is not unreasonable to see that should this office door be hung in the Museum of Modern Art, viewers would most likely accept it as art.

This, of course, begs the age-old question: Is it art because the artist says so? Or is it art because a number of influential people canonize it? The more important issue to my mind is this: Do you know? This is where the journey begins.

 

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