I know modern art isn't my thing, and I think I've figured out why: there are no breeches involved. Breeches (esp. satin ones) may be the sexiest single garment ever donned by man, but they are very scarcely represented in any modern art. Hence, interest: lost. Bare-chested, loin-clothed, full on nakkies? Yawn. Yet, give me an ill-rendered chap in breeches and I'm paying attention.
So today I managed to get to the Tate Modern which is currently undergoing refurbishment. Their entire collection is squeezed into a few small galleries, so you have all the people in half the space. And all my loyal readers know how much I detest a crowd. Add to that, about a dozen over-sugared school groups given the assignment of drawing the Picasso and I was about ready to leave five seconds after I got there. I did stick it out and got through it all (albeit quickly), with a few sit downs to observe people moving through the galleries. The most interesting notes I took were while sitting next to a man who was drawing one of the paintings. A schoolgirl asked him: "Are you an artist?" "Yes." "Are you in here?" "Not yet." You go, Artist Guy. The artist I really responded to was a man named Lawrence Weiner, who does phrases that are printed out on a variety of different medium. This one kind of smacked me on the forehead:
PAST AND FUTURE HAVE IN COMMON
NOT BEING PRESENT
Afterward I stopped in at the Globe, where I was informed by an unhelpful guide that I could buy a ticket for a tour and get the exhibit for free, but I couldn't go into the exhibit unless I went on the tour. When I tried explaining I had done the tour (I didn't mention how useless it was unless you're a total pleb) and didn't need to go again, he just stared at me blankly. Moving onward at a brisk pace to keep warm, I did the Clink Museum which was okay interesting. There was FAR too much reading on each wall, and the exhibits looked a little melty-dusty. I also didn't appreciate the "kids involved!" things to do which suggested: "Think how much it would hurt to sit in an Iron Maiden!" "Stand in the Iron Maiden and have your picture taken!" I enjoyed the brisk sea air off the Thames ("O water spirits, console me!") as I trotted onward, and finally landed at London Bridge. It was too cold to really enjoy Southwark, but at least it kept most of the tourists at bay.
Here is a sample of Weiner's work. Note the absence of breeches: