This weekend, on a beautiful fall day, my family and I went to an art-park. That makes it sound commercial, but it’s the simplest way to explain it. A sprawling area of maintained and manicured acreage that is peppered with modern art pieces of all shapes, sizes and materials. Many pieces are huge installations and stand against the sky, the trees and the fields in impressive ways. You roam and you roam (we did for 3 hours!) and wonder what you will discover over that hill, or within that cluster of trees….keep walking!….it’s the most wonderful en pleine air art gallery ever.
Not to mention, the juxtapositions taking place is nothing short of genius; Mother Nature’s far-reaching field, with it’s taupe and faintly mauve grasses all swaying in unison…with a manmade, uber-modern sculpture taking up residence right smack in the middle of it. A site to behold, regardless of what you think of the artwork. As if it isn’t great enough to just be outside, wandering this unusual property, you also get an art viewing, to boot.
So, we ambled along, coming across piece after piece of sculpture. Over by the trees stood one piece that, when I first saw it, I quickly dismissed. Modern art is tricky….the artist certainly intends something with his or her piece, but I happen to also think that the viewer brings a whole lot to the experience of it, too. It’s not like viewing say, a Monet. We all will look at it and see haystacks. Or waterliles. But a box, standing on end in a field? Huh. My guess could be as good as your guess (case and point…for one of those “boxes”, my daughter saw a popcorn box and I saw a Zippo lighter).
So this chunk of metal in the trees. It was dark brown and somewhat triangular in shape, with two lines running through the middle portions of it. Honestly, I thought it was pretty boring. But, no sooner had I just embraced that thought and was ready to move onto the next hill and ensuing scupture, when my younger daughter galloped towards it saying “It looks like a piece of chocolate cake!”.
She’s right. It did look like a massive, upended slice of Devil’s Food Cake. I’ll be dipped.
In that one instant, I was taught a good, solid lesson….pertaining to art but stretching way beyond….it’s what you bring to the table that matters.
Or, in this case, what you bring to the cake plate.