After work yesterday in Big Shaft, I was about to turn towards home, when I realized I was already half way to the City. The Beautiful Losers show at the Yuerba Buena Center beckoned to my work-addled mind.
Far be it from me to cast judgement on anything labelled "art". The show didn't make me want to rush home and make anything (my personal criteria is that if the experience fills me with the burning desire to do something creative, it has succeeded. I know its a personal and quixotic critical method, but hey, it works for me). In fact, if filled me with a sense of unfocused shame. Was it the wall of grainy black and whites of various ice-vending machines (which in another context would have been cool)? Was it the primitive murals by white people who were trying for a third-world graphic aesthetic? Was it the sense that the show was really just a collaboration between Urban Outfitters and the Gap? Was it the multiple photographs of an unattractive man's engorged penis? Where they trying to be unsexy and gross? Or just gross? It seems they have fallen for that unfortunate idea that that which is shocking must be distrubing and therefore is "art". True, good art can shake you up, but it has to deliver something from that disruption. That something could be anything from a new perspective or a glimpse of beauty. I am tempted to go back, just to see if I can get something ore from it. I don't want to simply dismiss it.