One Man’s Trash is Another Man’s Treasure

Walking into the Museum of Contemporary Art I felt wary because I’m not the biggest fan of art that looks like a 4th grader’s macaroni project. Though I’m not opposed to contemporary artwork, I actually like how strange it can be. The only problem I have with it is that the moment you hang a blue piece of paper in a contemporary museum all of the sudden everyone wants to buy it for millions and millions of dollars. I just didn’t understand the concept of buying art for so much money when it seems so simple. But after seeing a very unique piece of artwork it made me question what art really is. I saw a small awkwardly shaped table off in the corner of the room with meticulously placed gemstones that reflected smooth pearl purples and jagged metallic grays. Each stone was carefully placed about an inch apart from one another some with a dollop of sand underneath it and others simply placed on the black tabletop. They made my eyes twinkle with excitement, like how a dog’s eyes light up when it sees a rubber ball. I was eager to oohh and aww at the stones because I am the biggest fan of things that sparkle, shine, and glimmer. I started to pace around the table looking at all the pretty rocks and geodes and even noticed rocks I’ve seen before. I looked even closer trying to distinguish this unknown beauty. Then, my stomach hit the floor I leaned back in disgust, this is trash. No, not trash meaning something is bad I mean actual garbage. What I thought to be an “unknown treasure” was actually a rusty old pork N beans can. I started to look closer at all the other “stones” that were on display there were, old juice boxes, eggshells, cut up styrofoam. I felt duped, violated, annoyed, how dare they make me think an old tin can was some type of precious material, something that had worth. It doesn’t belong on a table in a museum it belongs in some back alleyway collecting dirt. But after staring at it and wondering why an artist would do this I actually started to find it comical. I started to think about what I said in the first paragraph about the blue piece of paper. I realized that just because something is trash to me doesn’t mean it can’t be a gem to someone else. Certain things have value to different people and we should respect what people value. (Sierra Norris/COS Student)

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