My life and my thoughts - on faith, culture, politics, whatever comes to my mind

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Do you understand modern art?

Sunday was our "culture day". First we went to downtown Houston and just drove around. Those downtowns look so unreal until you come close to them, just like something flat or projected against the sky. But I tend to enjoy them. I would not want to live in those huge buildings, but the architecture is really fascinating.
Right in downtown Houston is the Heritage park, displaying old wooden buildings from this area. What a contrast - a tiny wood cabin or country church and behind it a huge skyscraper with a glass front... Welcome to the 21st century! But it is a beautiful park, very restful right next to busy downtown. I loved it!
Then we went on to the Montrose area, the "artsy" part of town. It's just beautiful. Wooden houses, lots of green, ... And inbetween some great art collections. We started the culture with the Rothko chapel, a very modern meditative one-story chapel for all faiths with eight abstract pictures inside. I just cannot help it - it did not feel like a chapel at all to any of us. Those pictures are just dark all lilac or black ... Later on we went to the Cy Twombly gallery - more VERY modern art. I only stood in front of the "pictures" and wondered: Why is that art? Any little kid or I myself can throw colors on paper or scratch on a blackboard, just nobody would pay any money for it. Maybe some of you really like modern art and can somehow enlighten me ... it leaves me as confused as the pictures are.
We really enjoyed the Menil Collection though, works by surrealists (Magritte a.o.), Picasso and Warhol and indigenous art. That is really a great collection - and modern art I like :)
Then we turned our attention on folk art. What do you think about a house made out of 50.000 beer cans?? I loved it. Not that I understand it - but it's great! even more strange is the Orange Show, a collection of things a postman found during his 25 years of work, put together and dedicated to - the ORANGE! Absolutely weird and great fun. We all really enjoyed that.
Unable to find some of the other folk art houses and after strengthening us with more great Mexican food we went on to "rich" Houston - the River Oaks district. Truly exclusive and beautiful. We finished the day off with a very impressive fountain at the Transco Tower (11.000 gallons/40.000 litres of water per minute!!) and the Astrodome and the Relient (sport stadions if you can use that normal word for those buildings :)).