Part 1: Overheard at Mark Rothko
Well, I say it’s excellent, but that’s if you like Rothko. If you don’t, it’s fair to say it’s not going to change your mind about him. It’s not like there’s a secret room of photo-realistic portraits or delicate watercolours in the middle of it. Despite the fact Rothko is one of the few 20th century artists to be widely known, plenty of people there seemed annoyed, offended and upset by what they found. Best exchange I overheard was a father leading his 10 year old son through the rooms, at pace, saying:
“Right, so the last room was the purple and black series. This one is the grey and black series. You see the difference?”
In close second:
(Man, looking at a massive canvas that’s absolutely covered in paint) “Well, it’s not really painting, is it?”
Part 2: The Camerabag iPhone app
You do get some interesting people at exhibitions. Families with babies that literally look like they’ve just come out of the hospital, perplexed French tourists and people who appear to have dressed solely to look like cliched art fans. It all makes for great photos, but unfortunately you have to contend with the gallery guards and the no photography rule. This meant the SLR was out, and the iPhone was in. I’ve written about the iPhone’s camera before, and as it’s not brilliant, I’ve tried out a few apps to see if they could improve it. By far the best has been one called Camerabag; it’s cheap, regularly updated (most of the bugs have now gone) and allows you to apply a series of filters to pictures you take with the camera. The idea is that the filters mimic certain camera styles – Lomo, Polaroid, monochrome etc – and it’s easy to use, and as you can see from the picture I took at Tate, allows you to get a bit more out of your phone pics. Well worth the £1.79 cost. For more, check out the Camerabag Flickr group.
Previously on the Wired Jester:
Art: Visiting Tate Britain’s Holbein exhibition.