Metaphor to start:
Level with me here: Have you ever wanted something to work so badly? Imagine a girl who’s so hot and gorgeous that she makes all of your friends jealous and makes you look like the pimpiest guy who’s ever pimped. Imagine she’s actually into you! And imagine that she is just the most worthless scumbag on Planet Earth. She only likes you because you have money and she has the personality of a decaying catfish.
Think about your emotions. You would want that relationship to work out SO BADLY! But you know in your heart of hearts that it will never work because as much as you want to like her, she completely sucks.
You’ve been there right? You know what I’m talking about? Even if you don’t, if you were to visit the Perez Art Museum in Miami, FL (or PAM for short), you would know exactly what that feels like.
The Silver Lining:
This place has one of the sickest views that the city has to offer. It’s located right at the edge of Downtown, overlooking a causeway that connects an upscale section of Miami called Brickell with South Beach itself. My line of work has me traveling towards this direction on this very highway sometimes, and for months I would stare at the beautiful facade of the Perez Art Museum. The architecture is truly grandiose and unlike almost anything else in Miami. It is clearly the most prime piece of real estate that Miami has to offer and is worth a trip just for the view of the city that you’re only capable of getting from those outside lookouts.
The building is also quite intimidatingly big. You imagine, since it’s an art museum and everything that there would be a myriad of wonderful exhibits to examine on the inside of all sorts of interesting shapes and sizes. As you walk down the stairs, you’re treated to a wonderful view of the bay that sits right beside the American Airlines Arena where the Miami Heat play. (ain’t that like Lebron James? ain’t that just like D Wade? bonus points if you understand the reference)
To reiterate, the saving grace of this whole museum is the outer architecture as well as the unique position to attain awesome views of the city. It’s quite similar to the girl in my analogy from earlier: hot girl, beautiful face and hot body. That’s the Perez Art Museum. Beautiful to stare at. But let’s take a venture to the inside.
The Personality of a Decaying Catfish
Hope you’re not just skipping around, not reading the previous sections of this blog post or that reference will make absolutely no sense.
I know I’m beating a dead horse here, but I just need to reiterate: as I established, I really REALLY wanted to like this place because of how incredible it looked on the outside.
But then you go inside, and the expectations of the outer architecture crumble like a demolished building into the rubble. The place is “filled” with “art”. Let’s take a moment to dissect that last phrase.
When I say filled what I’m really trying to say is that each gigantic room had at least one piece of semi-appreciable artwork to look at.
When I say art what I really mean is postmodern art. The type of art that is left up to interpretation and that clueless idiots at pretentious auctions buy for millions upon millions of dollars because it speaks to the inner workings of the universe in such a deep moralistic fashion (never mind that it’s just a blue dot on a white canvas).
This is truly the problem with PAM that is irreparable because of the state of art in Miami. We feel that we should appreciate all art regardless of how dumb or nonsensical it is. Red splatters of paint on a wall? Genius. An actual portrait of a woman on the beach? Sexist. That’s Miami’s point of view. And because the point of view of society at large (that all artwork is worthy of appreciation) directly contradicts my notion of art (actual artistry that requires technical skill and allows for universal interpretation on some level), PAM delivers something that has no soul and no meaning. A bunch of pieces of art that I could think is cool for about 3 seconds before not caring at all. It invokes no admiration or curiosity, just an empty shell of longing for more.
Let’s Interpret Some “Art”
I don’t know what the names of any of these pieces are so we’ll name them ourselves. I’ll call the above piece “sCRAP”.
sCRAP is supposed to represent the emotional turmoil inside of your heart when you lose a loved one. The silver portion at the bottom reflects the viewer back to themselves allowing for introspection while the top, colorful portion represents the diverse array of experiences that you used to experience with said loved one, but that are now gone and resigned to the scrap heap of history, thus breaking apart and crumpling upon you.
This piece right here is called “I Should Have Majored in Engineering Like My Mom Said, But I Majored in Art”. It’s truly a pulchritudinous display of cardboard mastery. Notice the innumerable holes everywhere. The artist had so many holes in his time that he filled it up with the creation of a fictional, unmoving, non-functional vehicle that served no purpose except to be stared at for a few minutes. Also note the sharp edges everywhere. This is representative of how our caustic society looks down upon talented artists like this one and oppresses them so thoroughly that they are incapable of creating actual sculptures and instead create make-believe cardboard machines.
(I’m actually being EXTREMELY tongue-in-cheek here. I genuinely like this piece of art. But hey, I also like poking fun at things. If you’re the creator of this piece and are actually reading this, know that I’m actually a big fan)
Don’t go to PAM for the Museum itself. Stay outside if you wish to preserve a healthy sense of appreciation for it. Otherwise, it will be a truly sucky experience.
-The Wandering Toucan