Art Appreciation

Ron Nagasawa
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Wednesday - April 09, 2008
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My family and I recently returned from a trip to California. We were attending the wedding of my wife’s niece, but we combined it with a vacation during spring break. We stayed with my sister-in-law and her husband, who live about an hour east of San Francisco.

Our 10-year-old daughter and my wife were there mostly to help my wife’s sister with the execution of the wedding and the reception. This gave me some time to head into the city with our 18-year-old son to enjoy all that San Francisco has to offer.

My son was my guide and he took me on a walking tour of the city. Walking up and down the famous hills beside the bay, I probably trekked the equivalent of walking all the way home to Hawaii. At least that’s what it felt like.

On part of the tour, we decided to stop in at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, known to the locals as MOMA. It was a cool idea as I’ve always liked modern art and now was going to get a close-up look at real works of art by the likes of Picasso and Warhol.

My son is quite knowledgeable about modern art, a college boy you know, so he could explain to me the many things I was looking at but didn’t quite understand. In one gallery there was an example of what my son said was Dadaism.

All I knew was that I seemed to be looking at a porcelain urinal signed by a R. Mutt. “No, Dad,” explained my son, “this is a famous piece called Fountain by Marcel Duchamp.” I walked away shaking my head and left my son to enjoy the “art.”

Just outside the room I came upon another example of “Dadaism.” It was a table with what looked like a bunch of crumpled food wrappers and an empty plastic soda bottle. My son found me and I asked him, “What is this piece called?” He laughed and said, “I believe it’s called leftover lunch.”

Well, I may not know art, but I know what I like.


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