Southwestern art is crap. Not just any old crap, though. Certifiable vomitous-kitsch-with-nary-a-glimmer-of-anything-remotely-resembling-something-acceptable-to-hang-on-any-other-wall-but-that-of-a-mediocre-hotel-room crap.
Yeah, yeah, Georgia O’Keeffe and all that. Fine. But other than her…
But why? Is the Southwest of the United States not a place of awesome (in the true sense of the word) beauty? Unparalleled grandeur? Sublime magnificence? So why no decent art?
I’ve just spent 5 days traveling around Arizona (insert Jared Loughner/Immigration Policy comment here) and having a truly fantastic time against a backdrop of mesas, canyons, red rocks, and stunning vistas. Maybe if Monet had visited Arizona, or better yet Seurat, I wouldn’t be feeling this way, but there are some experiences that simply cannot be translated to art. (Need I clarify what I mean by art? I think not, assuming those of you reading this understand that difference between kitsch and the kind of commentary that true art makes on life.)
So there I am, watching the sun set over the Grand Canyon, and having a truly magical personal moment. And then, shame on me, I ruin it by thinking about art.
My brain spins off, oh so arrogantly debating how one might begin to approach a piece about the Grand Canyon. Naturally, it shouldn’t be anything too literal. That would be impossible to translate. Perhaps it should be more about contrast, or scale, or color. Hmm.
In the end I come up with nothing. The most I can muster is the following time-lapse. Not an attempt to do anything more than say, here is what happens between this time and that time. If you ignore the fact that I’ve pointed my camera at the Grand Canyon, maybe you can appreciate a moment in time, condensed through the power of photography to a few seconds.
Or maybe I shouldn’t have bothered. After all, it is the Grand Canyon and, to follow my own advice, any artistic endeavor involving it is somewhat distasteful.