Monday, October 27, 2014

Art History

I have a secret confession, which by virtue of being confessed on a blog is no longer a secret: I secretly (now openly) hate and resent 99.9% of the "art" my kids make and bring home from school. The first time Paige put paint to paper, I framed her painting in a triptych and admired it like it was a long-lost Renoir I'd just won in an auction at Sotheby's. Little did I know that both my kids would bring home enough "art" to start a bonfire with, and that I would want to do exactly that. I began to wonder if their school was actually just a front for a paper mill staffed by child labor, and I felt like a bad parent for not treasuring all their non-masterpieces. Occasionally one of them will make something really cool, legitimately special, and worthy of preservation. 

But most of the time, that shit is not good, and they know it. They know it and you know it, and the emperor's clothes need to come off. Everyone knows that most of this "art"--which multiplies like the brooms in Walt Disney's "Fantasia"--can and should be destroyed as quickly as it was created. Yet my kids and I do this ridiculous dance where I fawn over all the shitty art they made in two seconds and are now trying to pass off as "special," and they have to pretend they'll be scarred for life and grow up to be serial killers if I don't express the requisite degree of awe. 

Hey look, I'm not trying to squelch their creative spirit. But I'm also a realist and there's only so much room in my life for gigantic sheets of paper with six smears of green and brown paint on them. My house is enough of a shit hole as it is. (See prior post titled: "My House is a Shit Hole"). I still love the good stuff and want to save it and hang it up. But as for the rest of it, well...it's time to make art history.

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