Who Likes Art That Makes Us Happy & Uncomfortable?
The summer can do funny things to us. As we open ourselves up to the possibilities the season can provide, we can find ourselves skinny dipping into our lives. We are making ourselves vulnerable to something new, raw and real. We might travel to a new place to immerse ourselves in a new culture. We might find ourselves in the kitchen brewing up something new and fresh. We might take in an outdoor concert from a beloved band. We might find a canoe and drift lazily down the river.
Or we might take our kids on a summer morning to an Art Museum.
Sandwiched between "Please pick up your Legos!" and "What are we going to do today?" I had an insane plan to take my two small children to BAMPFA. BAMPFA is a real Art Museum filled with lots of interesting galleries, different mediums of art, lots of breakable stuff and complex exhibits. In other words, a great place to take two small kids!
Like an exhibit that contained clowns, lots of very uncomfortable clowns.
I have viewed some art in my lifetime but the UGO RONDINONE: THE WORLD JUST MAKES ME LAUGH exhibit made me unsettled, provoked lots of thought and downright gave me the creeps.
And without prompting the artwork had the same effect on my two little ones.
When we first set foot in the gallery, my daughter took a step back and tried to bolt out of the gallery. My son clung to my pants at the sight of shimmery, colorful, and playful clowns dressed in their clown attire. All of the figures were so realistic in their positioning the kids felt the artwork might "jump up and grab them." I asked each of my children questions. How the art made them feel? They both reported "uncomfortable and creepy." When we moved into the gallery that was also a part of the exhibit called "Rainbow Afternoon: Drawing Workshops for Kids" filled with hundreds and hundreds of children's drawings depicting rainbows the kids reported they felt "happy."
When I asked them which gallery the preferred, they said "both." They said the clowns made them feel one way but the rainbows drawings made them feel a different way, and they liked having both emotions.
Isn't funny how art and creativity have a way of transforming us into feeling different things?
Until Sometime Soon Friends!