I went to the opening of the Thornton Dial show at the New Orleans Museum of Art, just a quick cruise through the joint to tell the truth. The work didn’t pull at me much and I didn’t linger, so I don’t have any real or even imagined insight into Dial’s work.
I lurked around the couple in the photo above. They were arguing about the work and I wanted to report on the contours of their artistic dispute, but I think they were onto me or simply wanted to keep their private art theory talk private.
One work stopped me, though I’m afraid I didn’t think to get the work’s name and its particulars. I clearly did not approach the show as a proper reporter or critic.
The work that stopped me seemed to be made, at least in part, out of animal bones:
It reminded of objects a friend’s father used to make–Sophia‘s grandfather, as it happens, on her father’s side.
When Sophia’s father and I were right out of high school and later when we went to college, his father would save chicken and turkey bones from family dinners. He cleaned the bones and I think he may have treated them in some fashion. He would then recombine the bones to produce odd new creatures, which he would spray paint and hang on the walls of the basement around the pool table.
I loved that he made those things. The world would be better off if more people would make stuff out of bones.