The MACRO Testaccio is only about a 20 minute walk from our apartment and is open until 10pm, which makes it a convenient after dinner outing. The Testaccio location is inside of the old meat slaughterhouse, a historically significant building famous throughout Rome. MACRO, the Museo d’ Arte Contemporanea in Roma, features rotating exhibits at the Testaccio location. From June 5th to September 20th, 2015, American artist Josh Smith’s works are on display in the main spaces. Given the introduction the museum gave to the artist, I was expecting great things and extraordinary talent. What we got for an 8 Euro entrance fee (gasp!) was 192 works which the artist himself described as “thinking in painting.” These 192 works are only a small sample of what the artist, born in 1976, has produced during his lifetime.
There are some things which I did like about Josh Smith’s work, such as his use of bright colors. There were also many things I was confused about, like how did someone decide that Smith’s work was prolific enough to display at several prestigious museums around the world? Because many of the canvases look like they were done as a kindergarten class project. However, as I learned in Houston at the Cy Twombly exhibit, this type of art gives me and all other aspiring artists the confidence that we too can produce great art.
Such as Smith’s “sculptures”, consisting of stage lights, a white backcloth, and bar stools. How is that a sculpture? When we got home, I tried assembling a kitchen chair and a wine bottle with a kitchen washrag and found it to create a most pleasingly artistic “sculpture”. Look for my work in contemporary museums everywhere in 5 years.
, MACRO’s exhibits are a refreshing break from the ancient artwork found in many of the most famous museums in the city center, so if you will be in Rome for more than a week and you’d like to see some art in the evening, a visit to the old slaughterhouse of Testaccio might be an interesting change up. We certainly found it interesting to contrast the artwork we saw earlier in the day at the Palazzo Colonna to what we saw in Josh Smith’s eclectic canvases in the evening.