Sometimes watching people watch art is half the fun. Especially modern art. It makes you question what art actually is. Sometimes you have to look twice. Sometimes you think a five-year-old could do the same thing, and maybe even better. Or, as in the case of the work “Comedian” by Maurizio Cattelan, your art gets eaten by a hungry student that skipped breakfast.
I always seem to put things off, so I’m obviously running behind schedule with this piece. Simply put, things seem to get in the way. I nevertheless believe that the idea has some merit. The exhibition itself ended on May 7th, and I’m writing about it now, 20 days later. Dear Reader, I am aware that you are understanding of your humble servant and that you are forgiving.
If I want to enjoy some art in the same manner that I have been known to enjoy a cup of tea and some cake, I think about going to the HAB Gallery in Nantes’ Hangar à Bananes. If you were in town last month, you could have seen the “Une ebauche lente à venir” show, which featured recent pieces by Léopold Rabus and Till Rabus, some of which were produced just for the event. This art helps you take a second glance and discover the fun and foolishness in art. You may see it in the images at the conclusion of this post. See if you can spot two mischievous dogs and two mischievous pigeons!
Still life and landscapes are combined and delve into the artist’s basic urge to paint. Léopold’s paintings are loaded with lovely and weird animals: cows, slugs, birds, flies, dogs, and deer in the snow; a mound of faeces; chicken coops; and fields. Till’s paintings, in baroque and extravagant compositions, are loaded with trash, people, and other consumer objects.
Léopold Rabus (born 1977) and Till Rabus (born 1975) are Swiss artists that pay close attention to the reality of the world around them, and their art is full of sarcasm and comedy, challenging preconceived notions of what is and isn’t beautiful.
This piece, however, is about those who are viewing art and absorbing it all in. Or are they simply devouring culture to appear fashionable? To be in, since who wants to be left out? The French and their elitism in culture! Half the fun is watching those who make a concerted effort to “educate” themselves because it is trendy, a la Molière’s Bourgeois Gentilhomme, and those who take it all less seriously and enjoy watching the humour in the paintings and laughing at the absurdity of some of the pieces. I’m all for being an intellectual in intellectual settings where the study of art is academic, as opposed to the faux leftist intellectuals, yet at times art is about not being an intellectual. As Nike once tried to say, Just Do It!
The exhibition closed on the 7th of May.