I was sitting and reading a book on modern art. I don’t always “get” modern art. I do try. I was looking at a picture of a lamb in a tank of formaldehyde called “Away from the Flock” by Damien Hirst. He also placed a 14 foot tiger- shark in a tank of formaldehyde called The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living. Now if this sort of thing is up your alley but you don’t have room for a lamb or a shark in your living room, Carolina Biological offers some delightful preserved cats for only $42.95. All you need then is a tank of formaldehyde to complete the exhibit. The shark in the tank, on the other hand originally sold for 50,000 pounds and was 14 feet long. But all that aside, let’s turn back to the picture of that lamb in formaldehyde.
Tila was reading over my shoulder. “Humph”, he said, as Pyrs often do, having a complex language of huffs and snorts and whines and more types of barks than you can count.
“We must do something about this, free this sheep, return it to the flock.” he stated matter-of-factly. After all he is a guardian dog. And that is what they do, guard flock animals from dangerous and sometimes unusual predators.
“That might be a problem.” I told him. “Someone did try to mess with it at one point, in fact a man called Mark Bridger poured ink into the tank and was convicted of an art crime. He tried to say he was contributing to the art, and renamed the work ‘black sheep’. ”
“Snort!” said Tila. “I wouldn’t call this art, supper maybe, but not art.”
“You know, this is funny, ” I said, ” Someone stole pencils out of a Damien Hirst installation and they may be charged 10 million pounds in damage to the artwork. You think that someone would just buy a few more pencils. And look at this, some other folks claim that Damien Hirst stole some of his ideas from other artists. But really can you own a bunch of dots or a skull if you paint or use the image once? But it isn’t nice to speak ill of the dead as he died this year. Oops, maybe they were wrong, he didn’t die in January 2012. Maybe that is just the ultimate angry art critic. The author did seem a bit wound up stating Hirst “died last Thursday, January 12, in New York following complications from acute diverticulitis brought on by a swinishly speculative, grossly cynical, intellectually constipated effort to pinch out 11 concurrent exhibitions of rehashed expensive crap.”
This July he offered a statue of a pregnant woman wielding a sword to a town in Devon England. He appears to be alive and well.
“This is why I find the modern art world so confusing.” I said.
“You know, this would make a great subject for a painting.”, nudged Tila the muse.
And here without further ado is “Return to the Flock”, with apologies to Damien Hirst and the modern art world.