Monday, December 29, 2008

Is the Word 'Whinge' a Universal Term, I wonder?

My daughter, Billie-Mae & I went to the Degas Blockbuster Exhibition at the Australian National Gallery in Canberra. I'm now going to have a Slight Whinge about Art Blockbusters Aussie-Style. But maybe I should say, 'Whine,' as I'm not sure if 'Whinge' is part of the Universal English Vocabulary. 
Every time I go to The Northern Hemisphere I try to visit Big Museums. Like The Getty in LA. You can stroll through room after room of Masterpieces & there's barely a soul around to disturb you. I'm sure it breeds Masterpiece Smugness. 
'Oh yeah, there's  Van Gogh's Sunflowers again. I've seen it a million times. Yawn. Where's the cafe?'
In our whole Wide Brown Land, you'd be lucky to find maybe a dozen second-tier Picassos & a hundred or so third-rate Impressionist Paintings. Last month the Sydney Art Gallery had to sell half of it's Australian Contemporary Art Collection to buy this dirty-looking half-arsed Cezanne that cost millions & millions. 
Anyway, every time we have a Big-Name Blockbuster, like the Degas, you get like one, or two if you're lucky Big Ticket Paintings & then the rest is postage-stamp size etchings & prints that create the illusion of More.
Even so, it was just wonderful to see his Leaping Ballerinas & Racehorses.
But of course, we spent ages in the Degas Shop marvelling at the seemingly unrelated merchandise like freshwater pearl bracelets with silver charms that were on sale. Because of My New Frugality (more on that soon) we only bought a few little cheap items, like the round mirror above. 
We ended up at the Australian Aboriginal Cards, probably the best part of the whole joint.


Stacy said...

I know your frustration with heavily promoted art exhibits! I live in a medium sized midwestern city in the USA and we have the same problem. My consolation is that our art museum often has smaller shows that are so much more original and interesting than I expect.
No matter what the exhibit, I tend to console myself with the gift shop as well. Why is it that art museums everywhere have such fun things to buy?
Anyway, I've recently found your blog, but this is my first time commenting. I admire your honesty and self-deprecation. Keeping a sense of humor during trying times is something I hope to do some day...

Della Street Dreaming said...

Thank you so much for your nice comments, Stacy!
I'm glad then, that it's not just Australia has heavily padded art shows.