I’m not a fan of modern art, but the St. Louis Art Museum opened a new wing last year and I figured if I was going to see if before we move, I’d best get it in gear. I mostly shook my head while I walked through the new gallery. I mean, a light bar is art? Really? Then I turned a corner and saw this:
It’s called “The Computer Moves In,” and my first thought was, “That’s my life!” It illustrates my writing time so well I almost wept. It’s a mixed media piece by Sigmar Polke. He adapted a 1983 Time magazine cover, which named the computer “Machine of the Year,” rather than its customary “Man of the Year.”* It featured a George Segal sculpture of a man seated in front of a computer. Polke enlarged it, then partially marred it with overlay of medium. He even made the canvas, stitching together different pieces of fabric onto which he applied several layers of stains and metallic spray paint.
Knowing how it was made, to me, reinforces the analogy. I sit down at my desk, and much of the time the work is messy, disorganized, and shapeless. Of course, eventually it coalesces into something that makes sense, but this is a snapshot in a Day Of My Life.
*Why is it always Man of the Year? Why is there never a Woman of the Year? Am I the only one who thinks things like that?