The “Art” Of Being Yoko Ono

“I don’t know how she got an exhibit here!”

It is the voice of a diehard Beatles fan.

The exhibit my 10-year-old daughter was referring to is Yoko Ono: One Woman Show, 1960–1971 at the Museum of Modern Art.

Doubtful Savannah is alone in her sentiments, but only she would announce her opinion in a packed MoMA lobby causing women with alligator bags to turn and stare.

Yes, I’m that parent. The one who drags my kid to museums and galleries. If we lived in Colorado, we’d ski or in Hawaii surf. But, we’re Manhattanites, so the pressure to “take advantage of all the city has to offer” is intensified when you’re trying to mold a mass of sass and bubble gum into a sophisticated, art-loving child.

On Sunday, as we navigated the gallery of Ono’s work, which range from film to sculpture, painting to anti-war campaigns, avant-garde performance to popular and experimental music, I questioned if this is the most direct route. Yet, who am I to say what is art? I threw out every art project my daughter ever made.

If anything the exhibit changed my opinion of the woman blamed for “breaking up the Beatles.”  It takes mega doses of self-confidence and conviction to hang a board with nails or invite patrons to step on an old piece of canvas and call it art.

“Now why did John and Yoko stay in bed for a week?” she asked when told of their “honeymoon” in Amsterdam.

Good question.

Watching the old newsreels of their bed-in makes me think if a celebrity did that today, regardless of the reason, they would be dubbed a media whore, not a political activist.

Upon leaving the audio room where music of The Plastic Ono Band blares Yoko’s primal screams, Savannah, sounding like a bitter May Pang, summarized the experience best.

“I feel sorry for John Lennon.”

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