Thursday, May 6, 2010

Whew! Some Modern Art in Florence.

I used to think that abstract art was stupid. I always told myself that anyone could do it, it was ugly, it had no point. I mean, really, if you put one yellow dot in the corner of a white canvas and call it abstract art, these days you'll make millions. What about all those artists who dedicate their lives to painting and sculpting and creating masterpieces? What about all the Rafael's who studied human anatomy so much that they were able to create man flawlessly from paintbrushes? Those guys could give life out with only pigments. Who the fuck did these modern and contemporary artists think they were? This was my thought process before I came to Florence. I am now a contemporary art addict. You must all know by now how hard it is for me to deal with all the Renaissance. Sure, Rafael worked his ass off to understand the human figure. He did a good job. Brava, Rafael. Way to go. You did the same thing every other artist of this time period was trying to do. Exactly the same as the rest of them. And your message is clearly stated in whichever Bible scene you've decided to depict. I mean, didn't they realize by 1550 that the world really didn't need another painting of the Crucifixion?

I went to the Pitti Palace today. I've been meaning to go here for a while. Its the Palace that the Medici family lived in. It houses three gigantic galleries I'd been told I absolutely had to see before I left this city. I used my "I'm a student so I can cut this long line and get everything free" card and bypassed the 2 hour long line, which made me really optimistic about the things I was about to see. Of course, the first gallery bored me to no end. I found myself looking not at the paintings and sculptures on display but at the wallpaper and chairs and ceilings. It was ten times cooler to see a palace than to look at yet another Renaissance masterpiece. By the time I made it through half of the rooms the only memorable thing I came across was an old ottoman that mildly interested me because it was red and gold. I realized my interest in this ottoman stemmed from my subconscious desire to be in Gryffindor house so I decided I didn't need to see the rest of this gallery. I started speedwalking through the crowds of people exclaiming over this Madonna and that St. John's Beheading. You know that feeling you get sometimes when you're afraid someone is following you, so you speed up and when you finally go through the door you've still got a little adrenaline rushing through your system but at the same time you're totally flooded with relief? Thats the feeling I got when I made it through the doors and out of that gallery.

I was intrigued by the idea of the other two galleries in the Pitti Palace; I wasn't ready to give up on my day. In Florence, when you hear about a gallery of modern art in the same building as a gallery of fashion, its kind of like being in Florence and hearing about a place that sells peanut butter. Its a miracle. They owned up. Looking at 16th century clothing is alot cooler than you'd think it would be. There was a dress in this gallery that if I had the gall I would totally try to steal. Sure, it probably wouldn't fit me, but damn I'd look awesome in it. It was a dress that someone made for me hundreds of years ago, they just didn't know I'd exist to need to wear it. It was a deep green dress, embroidered and poofy and totally something you'd see at a ball. I don't care if I'm almost 20, I'll still go to proms. I would wear that dress to anyones prom who'd take me. Until I'm almost 30. I'd still go. I fantasized about myself in that dress for a really long time. By the time I made it to the modern art gallery I'd been in the Pitty Palace for almost two hours. I realized by the time I left the gallery another two hours later that I'm never going to be the next Rafael. I don't want to be. I've discovered that the art that is different, the art that is interesting, with strange different styles and awkward color schemes, are more complex and more interesting and more difficult to relate to. I'd rather be the person who spends her time looking at the art that is a challenge to understand than the person who spends her time pretending that portraits and Bible scenes and still-lifes interest me in the least. Modern and contemporary art have officially become my interest. I will never again knock a painting of the yellow dot in the corner of the canvas. I saw enough different styles in this gallery that I could have visited this place once a year and have inspiration for the rest of my life, thats how good this collection was. Even if i don't return to Florence once a year, I'm still inspired for life. God, I love art.

Arrivederci, for now.
Love, Gabby

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