Ever on a quest to improve our cultural and moral calibre over the summer vacation, the Princess arranged a family visit to the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia.

It backfired rather spectacularly.

Rather than sumptuous paintings of Greek mythology, portraits and European landscapes which we had enjoyed in London last year, we stumbled on the frankly horrible paintings of Marion Wagschal and Emily Falencki. Lots of suffering, pain, awkward sprawling nude and half-dressed bodies, skeletons and lone rolling skulls, decay, ageing, despair, sorrow. Your average WWII-inspired art, at your local art museum.

The Princess looked closely, and then declared clearly “I don’t like this art”. Then she went at looked at some bicycles in another exhibition.

The Golden Boy forgot his fatigue. From London, he knew already that art meant lots of penises and boobs, but he had never seen them so horribly and awfully displayed. The London museum nudes were gorgeous and hilarious. Wagschal’s juxtaposed clothed and unclothed bodies were sad and ugly. The Golden Boy stared at their shadowed and furry genitalia and declared they all had “black penises”. The modern twentieth century version of what real bodies look like.

In the next hall, a small table with paper and coloured pencils was set next to the bicycle exhibit, with a notice encouraging children to sit and draw their own two-wheelers. The Golden Boy and the Princess sat down and began to draw. But Wagschal’s dark influence seeped through the walls, into the hall, and through the coloured pencils. The children did not draw cute and pretty bicycles.




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