Sunday, May 20, 2007

Curves of Steel

Alex and I went to the Curves of Steel exhibit at the Phoenix Art Museum. I hadn't been to the PAM in a few years and they had already undergone another major expansion. I know that "Phoenix" and "art" aren't words that one immediately puts together, so I am quite pleased that the city has been putting in money and effort to raise the level of the museum to become appropriate for the 5th largest city in the country. Any improvement in culture in this town is to be applauded. To boot, according to the PAM's website, "Curves of Steel, organized by Phoenix Art Museum, is the first exhibition in an art museum to explore the impact and influence of streamlining on American and European automobile design in the 20th century." Nice to know we're ahead of the curve on something...

The Curves of Steel exhibit was interesting - although I'm not a huge car aficionado, some of the designs were absolutely breathtaking, from the shape and form of the cars themselves to the use of color. I found this to be a sharp and refreshing contrast to the cars of today... well, except for the Mini, of course, which is near and dear to my heart.

Anyway, the exhibit itself was like PAM's other major exhibits -- a great concept, but a bit stretched. Most of the designs were from the 30s and 40s, which would have been fine had they confined the exhibit to that. Instead, you jumped from the 40s to a monstrous design from the 80s, a shimmery blue car from the 90s that seemed out of place, and an odd airplane surplus design from the 50s. It felt tacked on -- like an essay written for class that was too short, so you had to throw some filler in at the end that doesn't quite fit. You need to either flesh out the later years of the exhibit or cut out the filler. One or the other.

After the rather short exhibit, Alex and I decided to make use of the $14 admission fee and explore the rest of the museum. As we wandered through some of the older pieces, I realized that what this museum needed was a little updating. Taking the cue from lolcats, loltrek, and lolbeeves, I knew the art should reflect the comments we all make in our minds as we walk through the gallery. As such, I present: lolart.

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