0s & 1s Reads
by Andrew Lipstein
Andrew: How have children affected your art intake?
Merritt: i loathed spongebob when my kids were little because it is insanely annoying as background noise. but apparently there are gems of existential profundity i totally missed.
Sarah Gerard: I can see that.
Merritt: i'm not sure how they've affected it—i like what i like, and have always been appalled by the way some people turn themselves into children when they have kids. kids' music, kids' movies, kids' everything all the time.
even the youngest kids can appreciate really complex art if it's good
Sarah: Did you notice that they were disinterested if it was bad?
I'm almost afraid to ask this, but what is bad art?
Or do you mean that if you bring them to where art is and then guide them into an appreciation, perhaps?
Merritt: yeah...i don't know if i could say. but there is definitely art my son is totally disinterested in. a lot of modern art, like video installations and conceptual pieces, he sort of scoffs at.
Sarah: What is his taste, would you say?
Merritt: i took him to the art institute in chicago and there was a piece i really loved—a neon sign—and he seemed personally offended that someone might have been paid money for it, as art
he's a practical person. he likes tangible, representational.
Sarah: I'm interested in how that moment played out. Did you talk to him about why it's considered art, and do you remember what you said, he said?
I don't mean to put you on the spot, I just think kids are interesting people.
Merritt: i wish i remembered. i loved the fact that he didn't care that so many people obviously did think it was art.
Merritt: that he still felt free to think it was lame.
Sarah: Good! That is everyone's right.
I love it.