At some point in your life, young or old, you probably had a moment where you saw a painting and thought – I can do that! Why is this in a gallery? Or wait, worse, this is so ugly! Why is it in a museum! Ok, you get the picture…visual art can be a mystified subject for the average human. Jackson Pollock, one of the great American artists of the 21st century, one of the pillars of the abstract art movement, is represented by a piece of art that is found in the play, Bakersfield Mist by Stephen Sachs. Currently presented at the Centaur Theatre and playing until February 26, this comedy is hilarious and sheds interesting light on the intriguing and often misunderstood art world.
The play starts in the trailer home of one of the two characters, Maude Gutman, who is the owner of a piece of abstract art, potentially created by Jackson Pollock. The other character is quickly introduced as the art connoisseur who comes to her house to determine the authenticity of the piece. Seems simple enough! Ninety minutes goes by and even though the verdict on the painting was quickly revealed – the spectator is left unsure on the whole thing…
Both characters have complicated pasts that have brought them to that exact moment in their life. Their stories are revealed gradually through the arguing and the debate going on about the “ugly” painting in the room, potentially worth millions. For each their own respective reasonings, they both seem to profoundly want/need opposing outcomes of the situation.
This play will make you laugh and even though the characters seem to be polar opposites; relate to each other more than they want. A “snobby” art expert from NYC simply cannot be “wrong” about the painting found in a small town junk shop. However, the endearing actress, Nicola Cavendish, playing the stereotypical trailer park character, Maude, makes you believe that she is very much possibly right!
All in all, you don’t need to know anything about art to enjoy this play thoroughly. However, it does make you think about some of the mysteries you may already ask yourself about this often misconceived industry. It was a very pleasant show that we firmly recommend!
For all information about the play and to buy tickets before they sell out, click here.