Newfound Appreciation.

Essay by joegrdoyleCollege, UndergraduateA+, September 2004

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Newfound Appreciation

Who is this man referring to himself as my tour guide, and just what is contemporary art? There I stood that Wednesday afternoon with my college Composition class in the entryway to the Daum Museum. To be honest, I was tired, hungry, and had no desire to look at contemporary art. We were there to observe what the guide of our tour described as "great pieces of artwork." Most of it, well at least to me, looked like something a four-year-old had done earlier that day at preschool, and his or her proud mother had hung it on the refrigerator, artwork that only a mother could love. One piece of work in particular caught my attention, a painting, that to the eye in no way represented the message which our guide described to us that it was supposed to portray; although, as he began to talk, a change came about.

What were once colors and shapes began to tell me a story. The painting was by Michiko Itatani, and the piece of work was appropriately titled America Blue. That Wednesday afternoon I gained a newfound appreciation for contemporary art. Due to Miss Itatani's painting, America Blue, I realized how contemporary art could tell a story, in particular the story of September 11, 2001, and the horrific pain felt that day.

There it was, an enormous painting hung high on the wall. Its most dominant color was jet black, and the main focus seemed to be the blue ovals that varied in size as they ran from top to bottom in the painting. Atop the painting was a large, light pink, semi-circle. Descending from the semi-circle were narrow white runs of paint, almost as if the artist had dipped her brush more than the necessary number of times, applied...