Spent part of Father’s Day at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. They have a really good exhibit up on French painters and printmakers and their use of photography. It almost makes up for the stupid show the IMA sent to the Venice Biennial. Gymnasts doing routines on cheap looking copies of airline seats — what the hell was that all about? I’ve got nothing against gymnastics, I was once a gymnast myself. But simply juxtaposing two disparate elements doesn’t rise to the level of art. My wife refused to let me renew our membership last year. She took the whole thing as a personal affront.
Anyway, she went for getting a membership again, strictly on an economic basis. (The cost of three tickets = $36, and she knew we’d have to go at least once more because we got a late start. If we use the parking garage while we’re there next time, we’ll already be ahead by three dollars. She’ll still rail about the director and his zatsky wife, but feeling like she’s getting a bargain mitigates the anger.)
I didn’t get through even half the exhibit. My wife and daughter went through the whole show, but didn’t read all the curatorial explanations and historical information. That doesn’t count as a complete visit in our house.
Of course, I had to take fifteen minutes off before the museum closed to go view the Caravaggio. It’s small compared with most of his works, a single sleeping Cupid. My wife says, “How can it be a genuine Caravaggio? Why would Indianapolis have such a rare work? Why isn’t it featured in a more prominent place? What is it, something looted by the Nazi bastards so they need to keep a low profile?”
She tells me to keep a low profile too. Last time we were there, she was watching me look at the painting, and noticed a woman passing by take a protective hold on her child. Now she’s convinced I was mistaken for a pervert. “There you are,” she says, “in your plaid shorts and non-matching plaid shirt, wooly socks and work boots. You’re gazing in rapture at a little naked boy. Think how it looks to people who don’t know you.”
I guess the good news is that she doesn’t think I need to worry about how it looks to people who do know me.