Last week I heard the story on the news about the Rothko painting which was vandalized in the Tate museum. A man simply walked up to the painting and wrote on it with a black marker – an action I disapprove of. The story made me think about what work of art I wish I could vandalize and only one came up. An oil painting a camel and a black marker …. o the fun never stops in my house.
There is this one painting in particular the comes to mind. My father purchased it from an Iraqi artist whose name I forgot. With great pride my father installed the camel art in his living room. There was only one problem. My mother hated it. A big debate emerged between them about the artistic merit of the painting. Over time my husband and I got involved in the discussion. Surprise! Surprise! My husband loves the camel art whereas I think it’s hideous. I mean there is a camel in this painting. How cliche that we are Arabs and we have a painting of a camel. Hopefully I din’t need to explain why that is a bit silly. But the thing that I really really hate about this painting is how sentimental it is. The whole mother cradling her son. There is something over the top. Just makes me wanna roll my eyes. Yet somehow my father and my husband love it so. Over time the debate expanded and my father decided to give the painting to us as a gift.
I think my dad just wanted to get rid of the problem to stop arguing with my mother. So the camel art hang in our stairwell for a while. It meant that whenever somebody came into our house it would be the first thing they would see. The arguing over the painting continued in earnest. It was finally resolved when my son declared he loved the painting of the ship of the desert. In fact he loves it so much he asked if he could hand the painting in his room. What is wrong with all the men in my family?
So if there is one work of art that I wish to vandalize, its this camel art. But I can’t bring myself to actually do it. I have a better idea. One day in the future when my son is all grown up and married I am going to give this painting to him as a gift. So that he can have the same debate with his wife. Hopefully his wife will be sensible and convince him that this camel should not hang anywhere.