Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Museum Part 2

The tour group crowded around a weird painting with lines and colored squares that looked to Simon like something not quite worth hanging up. It wasn't like it was super artistic and it just seemed like maybe the artist had some extra canvas he decided to fill up with random lines and colored squares. Then all these morons decided to make it valuable because they had too much money to spend. Which was the reason he thought this was a terrible waste of a museum. Modern art just seemed so silly.

"I figure some of you are not fans of modern art. You may be looking at this Mondrian painting thinking 'and?'" Jeff paused to look at the faces looking at him. "I have to admit that I have had a few thoughts like this myself before I ever even dreamed of working here. Modern art is usually very weird and sometimes it is still hard for me to appreciate. One display involved strangely shaped cardboard pieced together in a shape that looked vaguely like a cartoon depiction of Nessie the fabled Loch Ness monster. However it was labeled "The Bird" and I was 5 seconds away from quitting when I saw it get put up."

The crowd chuckled at his story and he smiled broadly before ascending a flight of stairs to get closer to the painting. He pulled out a pointer to highlight a few areas.

"This painting, as I mentioned, was created by a gentleman named Piet Mondrian. You may have seen his designs before as a lot of fashionistas have decided it is fun to put on shirts and purses and all sorts of things. The reality is that it is quite a bit harder to create something like this then it looks. The lines are perfectly straight and the colors are in areas that don't detract from the composition. I t looks really basic and like anyone can do it. In fact if you look behind this painting there is an area where we challenge you to create one. People can create these but it takes some thought and a little science of color to make it compelling. This tour is the only way you can get into this area and so we are challenging all of you to try your hand at this. Follow me please." Jeff opened a door and the tour group followed him inside.

Inside the room there were a bunch of tables piled high with art supplies. There was paint, pens, pencils, markers, paper, rulers and reference books. Around the room were several posters of Piet Mondrian to use as reference. Simon was the first to venture to a table and he grabbed a pencil and a sheet of paper and bent to the task of sketching out his Mondrian painting. Slowly the rest of the group followed his lead and the volume of the room rose as people started trying to duplicate the simplistic appearing designs.

Simon found nothing he did was straight enough so he grabbed a ruler and a new sheet of paper and started over. He started adding lines on one side and then rotated the sheet to the other side. He kept working slowly drawing lines and pausing to think before placing the next line. He was absorbed in the task and had not realized people were slowly giving up on their attempts and were starting to focus on him. Soon everyone was watching him make his Mondrian painting but he had yet to look up. He was too busy painting in the lines with black paint. Keeping the brush with in the lines was a difficult task and that was where his focus was concentrated. He was steadily painting the third line when the tour continued on and his mother and another member of the museum staff stayed with him while he worked. He was oblivious to the fact that his mother and the lady who worked at the museum were talking about all kinds of art related topics, attempting to fill the silence with small talk. Simon worked like a boy entranced and nothing was breaking through his revery. Not even the fact that he had been working for over an hour.

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