Mischievous monkey (sans wings), a tin man (or rather bronze) who needs a bit of oil, a derpy and cowardly lion, a wand-wielding shady witch, the scarecrow in pre-human form, angry Totos, and a little Dorothy at a junction in Kansas.
Look familiar? All the makings of art history’s version of Wizard of Oz, which debuted on this day in 1939.
“I’m not an abstractionist… I’m not interested in relationships of color or forms… I’m interested only in expressing basic human emotions—tragedy, ecstasy, doom and so on… The people who weep before my pictures are having the same religious experience I had when I painted them.”—Mark Rothko, 1956
So true. I’ve never looked at a work of art and felt personally invigorated. I can see a caricature of me in the midground and background, scrubbing floors and grooming white people. White people get to see…
Of course art has power. Making it, seeing yourself reflected in it…this is why I’m rather dismayed at society’s current tendency to ignore art.
Are we truly? Or is our supposed disinterest in art shaped by WHICH works we see? Or that are even AVAILABLE for us to see?
There’s more about Krasner and Pollock and other artists at the beach in our post today for the Smithsonian Collections Blog. Happy Memorial Day Weekend - we’ll catch up with you guys again on Tuesday!