Modern Art? You’re having a laugh aren’t you?!

Modern Art, Tate Modern review

Call me a philistine, call me an uncultured oaf if you will, but in return, I will call it like it is: a mirror on the wall is just that – a mirror on the wall. It is not art!

No seriously; this is what I found in the Tate Modern in London when I visited there this summer. I kid you not, I stood agape watching the pretentious types stopping and contemplating what amounted to a bathroom cabinet stuck on the wall.

Modern Art, Tate Modern review

It’s actually from 1965, and is titled “The Big Picture” Untitled Painting, by Michael Baldwin and Mel Ramsden – wait? It took TWO people to come up with this?!

Apparently it turns a: ‘century-old convention upside-down by replacing the painting’s surface with a mirror. Rather than look at an image of the artist’s making, viewers are now confronted by themselves, thereby questioning a long-held notion of painting transcending reality.’

Modern Art, Tate Modern review

Sure enough two American tourists ardently trying to take a good picture of it – were loudly exclaiming (yeah, yeah I’m playing up the stereotypes I know, so?) to each other ‘brilliant, it’s so modernistic,’ ‘yeah, it really makes you think, doesn’t it?’

‘Think’ – really? You know what I ‘think’ now I see a mirror: ‘How much could I flog this to the National Gallery for?’

Modern Art, Tate Modern review

Now look, it’s not like I don’t appreciate art – well I would have gone into the Tate Modern in the first place otherwise – and I did see some genuinely inspiring and intriguing stuff like the car engine covered in copper sulphate by Roger Hiorns (made me think of man-made stuff being reclaimed by nature) and Richard Hamilton’s Hommage a Chrysler Corp from 1957 that explored the advertising cliché linking woman and cars – their forms having merged in this painting.

Modern Art, Tate Modern review

Okay that’s car stuff (which obviously resonates with me) but I really found the Russian Revolutionary Posters fascinating. They could only be described as Strong Art and I was particularly fascinated by one that appealed to the ‘Comrade Mussulman’ to saddle up and join the army of all oppressed and working people.

Photo Aug 23, 5 59 29 PM

Then of course there’s the pop art like the iconic Andy Warhol and of course the comic art of Roy Lichtenstein.

Modern Art, Tate Modern review

Okay maybe I’m a little stuck in my ways and old skool, but when I stumbled upon what appeared to be a piece of ventilation shaft, I immediately looked up to see if the Tate Modern (formerly a power station) was falling apart and this had fallen from the ceiling. Not a bit of it. It was actually an exhibit. You’ve got to be kidding me!

Modern Art, Tate Modern review

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