The Disneyland Of Les Beaux Arts

by on April 6, 2024 :: 0 comments

In these vast galleries you can see just
About anything: Claudel Reimagined;
William Blake, A Visionary; Portraits
Of The Poor in Portugal; A New Look
At Danish Art; The Meaning Of Meaning;

And The Location Of The Washrooms. That’s
Where most people are huddled, right by
The gift shop, staring at their phones.

At that gift shop you can buy the memoir
Of the sod who paid for all this. His book
Is called Beauty Rose: Why I Am Better
Than You
. Our guide –in hushed tones— assures us
This great man loved art more than he loved cash.
(Which is unlikely, given the gauche crap
He bought at steep discounts. Most of this stuff
Is one notch above Dogs Playing Poker. )

So why am I here, why is this place full?
I like free tours and spectacular views;
Up on the roof you can see all of Los
Angeles, almost as far south as Playa
Del Rey. Art used to be for the very
Few, but the largesse of this one oil thief
Means all of us, even hoi polloi like
Me, can look at what this great tightwad wrought.

As for these huge musees des beaux arts, bought
By raptors, who is he that condemneth?
It is only folks with money who fuss
Over the meaning of meaning. Fewer
Still care: there are thousands here today,
But most of them on phones, scrolling, agog.
No one looks at De Voleren Zoon since
They’re too busy scanning the QR code.

A few more years of the cell phone, and these
Galleries will be a relic. The last
Patrons will be kids stuck on a school tour,
Pretending to listen while a guide who
Pretends to give a —- fills them in on
That joy in heaven, when a prodigal
Son came home. By Van Rijn, the sign will say,
And no one will wonder what it once meant.

editors note:

Turn your phones off at the door. There is no art if we don’t look. – mh clay

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