The other day we took T to LACMA to gaze at his beloved Metropolis 2, and to visit the Tar Pits (which he insists on visiting, only to run away screaming, STINKY! STINKY!) and the strangest thing happened: he wanted to see the art. Until now, LACMA trips have mostly involved trying to convince him to not hide and scare people in the mammoth Richard Serra sculpture.
For some reason, T wanted to take the Jenny Holtzer elevator to the third floor and actually get off, rather than just ride up and down sixteen times. He was utterly enchanted with the Robert Therrien sculptures we found there. As only T can, he threw his arms up and danced with glee at each new abstract form, declaring them WORMS! or A BIG ENORMOUS HUGE HAT! or A ROCKET! He had equally compelling observations about the more representational work. I’m tempted to write the artist and let him know that he should consider re-titling the above piece, Giants Eat Pancakes.
The experience reminded me of wandering the galleries of the Met with my father as a child. Those afternoons were so full of wonder. I sometimes bemoan the fact that it’s unusual for art to truly transform my world the way it did when I was younger. It happens, just not often. But watching T’s joyous response completely rocked the ground under my feet. I’ll never again be an eight-year-old frozen in front of a Jackson Pollock, or a fourteen-year-old, having my brain cracked open by Louise Bourgeois, but I can borrow my son’s eyes. Who knows what crazy magic I’ll find.
(a big enormous huge hat- of course)