Rooney: When Did This Become Art?

<B>Andy Rooney</B> On Modern Art In Public Places

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This segment was originally broadcast on Jan. 2, 2005.

The following is a weekly 60 Minutes commentary by correspondent Andy Rooney.

There are a lot of know-nothing boobs who don't appreciate the modern art being put up in public places in our cities.

I know this is true because I'm one of those know-nothing boobs. When did bright-colored plastic cows, pigs and rabbits get to be art?

I don't like most of the stuff passing for art and it's everywhere.

Seattle. Chicago. Sure, Chicago. Hog butcher to the world.

San Diego. Bloomington, Ill., for goodness sake!

Cincinnati. The people looking were better looking than what they were looking at.

Kansas City. Washington D.C. It makes as much sense as the politicians.

Plainview, Texas. Another culture center. Providence, R.I.

Memphis, Tenn. This was done to honor Martin Luther King. It's called "I've Been To The Mountain." I'm an admirer of everything Martin Luther King stood for, but I don't think he would have stood for this.

In New York, Lincoln Center has the best opera, the best ballet, and the best symphony orchestra. Is this Mickey Mouse sculpture out front really in an artistic league with what goes on inside?

One piece is named "Two Indeterminate Lines." I may not understand art, but I understand the English language, and that's pretentious nonsense.

Does every open space have to be filled in? Is anything better looking than nothing would be? I don't think so.

Sculptor Richard Serra's work called "Tilted Arc" was put up at a cost of $175,000. It's a leaning slab of rusting metal.

There was a war in New York between people who hated it and people who accused them of being culturally deprived. "Tilted Arc" was taken down, cut in three pieces and stored. Take that, arty arc.

A writer ought to be able to write simple sentences before he tries to be a poet. I want to see something traditional that a sculptor has done - something I can understand - before he gets a license to do this.

Picasso earned the right to do anything he wants. His work is art whether I think so or not.

Whoever did one particular painting suffers either from a functional disorder of the mind or he's putting us on.

What beneficial effect does this have on our brains that makes it worth putting in a public place?

I understand perfectly well that good art is always ahead of public taste. Most of this stuff is certainly ahead of my taste. I don't like it. If I'm wrong, I'm sure you'll correct me.
By Andy Rooney