One of the many joys of children is that they tell you the honest truth. It may not be what you want to hear, but it’s an honest opinion. As we grow older, filters and the continued “pussifaction of the United States” stops many of us from expressing how we really feel. The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) has decided to give the power of art critiquing to probably the most honest and truthful critics we have around us. They don’t have accredited degrees or even the slightest clue what abstract or cubism is, but children know one thing: if a piece sucks they have the right to tell you.
Welcome to MoMA Unadulterated, an unofficial audio tour created by kids. This is Modern Art without the pretentiousness. We speak with Mark Svartz and Hal Kirkland the men behind this inspiring and needed project.
MoMA Unadulterated is an alternative audio tour created for the permanent Sculpture and Painting Galleries of New York’s Museum of Modern Art. It allows gallery visitors to see modern art through the unique and unfiltered perspectives of “art experts” between the ages of 3-10. The kids discuss topics like the deeper meaning of each piece, observations about the artwork’s composition, what they’d change to make it better, and how much they think it might be worth. They’re questions that we all think about. Only this time, the answers are coming from critics who don’t hold back. And by showcasing the freeform observations of children, we can examine the validity of our own perceptions and opinions about what we see, what we like, and what we don’t.
Unless something radical occurs to the human race, pretty sure this will always be true. After all, art, in its simplest sense, is about expressing how you see things. And the great thing about kids is that they say it exactly as they see it. They’re honest, pure, and they have no fear, powered by nothing more than their imaginations and curiosity. But as we grow older, we’re naturally more influenced by external factors like commerce and critics. We begin to care what people think, which makes it more daunting to take artistic risks. We stop being kids. But as long as we still have those Picassos out there who can put on the blinders and maintain their childlike fearlessness and openness, we’ll be in good shoes.
A&H: How can parents keep art in their children’s lives?
Taking them to the MoMA Unadulterated exhibit is a great start. But in all honesty, as we were spending time with all the kids that participated in this project, we were amazed at how much they all loved art. Some of them kept discussing school field trips to the museum. Some of them chatted about art that was hanging on the walls of their homes. Some even colored while conducting these interviews. It was great to see how much their parents and teachers fostered an appreciation for art, and hopefully that’s something that more people will continue to do, especially considering that technology is making art so much more accessible. These days, so many galleries are exhibiting their work online. Google is helping create virtual tours of international museums. And artists are developing more and more pieces in new media, be it video installations or interactive projects, that art fans—adults and children alike—can experience from anywhere. After all, one of the things we love about Audio Tour Hack is being able to use technology and storytelling to introduce art to different, unexpected audiences. And hopefully this one in particular will help reach both children and those with a childlike sense of fun.
For more info on MoMA Undulterated visit HERE