Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Basketball, politics and contemporary art - a year end note.

                                                    Mark Rothko

Agnes Martin

Metta World Peace

Not only is the world too complicated but so is basketball.

All of a sudden the LA Clippers are contenders to make a playoff run. Ron Artest (on the Lakers)  the former poster child for angry, has changed his name to Metta World Peace. Lebron James, one of the most gifted 26 year old athletes on the planet, has become a villain for making a perfectly reasonable career move to Miami...I am baffled by it all.

Watching the action I feel like I am watching rabbits scramble and I can barely see where the rabbit was.  I cannot figure out why fouls have been called, or even follow the ball. I have no idea why Lamar Odom was ejected from the game the other day or why he married Khloe Kardashian. My New Year's  resolution for this year is to tune into women's basketball.  I think the slower pace will suit me...less baffling.

Not only are the world and basketball too complicated but so is contemporary art. 

This week we (including my bro-in-law, Billy, who is a walking art encyclopedia - which makes museum going with him fantastic) walked through the permanent collection at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. Here's my take away - I am a convert to the notion that the world would be way better off if we passed a global rule that from now on only women can be in positions of political power. I had this thought when I saw side by side works by Mark Rothko and Agnes Martin. Both use simple horizontal fields of colors. Both have been compared to the experience of looking at natural landscapes. Rothko is muscular - his colors heavy and strong - he paints with a brutish willfulness. Martin's horizontals are pastel - soft and inviting. They whisper compassion and consolation.

I think an Agnes Martin world makes a whole lot more sense than a Mark Rothko world. Or maybe not, who knows? Anyway, Happy New Year and World Peace.

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