This editorial will appear in Friday’s print edition.
Last year at this time, the Tacoma Art Museum was showing works by Norman Rockwell. Some in the arts community sniffed that his nostalgic view of America was less art than illustration – even “kitsch.”
But that show, which was hugely popular, brought people to Tacoma who might not have visited otherwise. The same can be said of the current show, “Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture,” in its only West Coast venue.
The show has only been open a few days, so it’s hard to gauge if it will draw as many visitors as the Rockwell by the time it ends June 12 – visitors who, we hope, will stay and see what else the area has to offer. But it’s a big show with an edgy theme, several provocative pieces and a bit of a notorious pedigree, having stirred up controversy when it was shown at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.
That museum was pressured to pull a video, “Fire in My Belly,” which includes images some found distasteful, including ants scurrying over a crucifix. TAM visitors will be able to see that video, as well they should; it’s powerful and thought-provoking – as good art should be. Read more »