I walked into one of the galleries feature Modern Art—you know the type: bright colors, geometric shapes. A bright blue canvas with a red stripe down the middle, different colored circles in a pattern, multicolored lines creating a dizzying, hypnotic effect, the kind of art that some people will say isn’t “art” and that others with scold you for not appreciating (whilst they may not even appreciate it or understand it themselves; they just know they’re supposed to).
I’d seen these paintings before. A couple, I liked—mostly the one with the dark, angry blues in the background, splotched with red. It made me think of a primordial volcano, or an astronomical explosion. Either way, I felt something, sensed some sort of movement or action when I looked at it.
I turned my head to the right and gasped. “That’s gorgeous!” All I could see was a lot of pink. I mean a lot. An overwhelming amount. So much pink—the kind of pink on Barbie-doll boxes and princess dresses—that it actually felt aggressive. I was being assaulted by pink.
I walked toward the doorway, and felt dizzy, trying to take it all in. Pink, purple, red, green, blue, white, yellow, black, orange? (I think, now that I’m looking back it’s hard to remember all the colors.) Dizzying amounts of color. Overwhelming and intense amounts of color. So. Many. Objects. Assembled together to make… something indescribable and wonderful and thought provoking all at once.
New York artist Lisa Hoke’s installation Come on Down at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art left me reeling. I actually had to walk close to the art and focus in on small sections—tater tot containers from Sonic, arranged together and filled with Sonic peppermints (tasting so much like mouthwash that I was gratified to see them used in an art display where they won’t be ingested); purple paper plates attached in spirals; pink plastic martini glasses stacked together; playing cards folded and arranged to make spiral, vaguely floral, arrangements; matchbooks; beer boxes; aluminum foil containers; toy boxes; coffee cup lids; all mass-produced, and mass-discarded products arranged and combined to create an overwhelming art experience.
I was with two friends, and we were like little children, continuously excited, exclaiming over every object we found, trying to take it all in. After spending more time with the exhibit, I was able to back up and look at the piece in its entirety. It didn’t make me dizzy any longer, but it still left me feeling awe.
The exhibit is at the OKCMOA until April 13. Do yourself a huge favor and go. It’s amazing and I can’t do it justice in words.