September 28, 2011 | 11:03am
You go to a restaurant. At some point between ordering your pancakes and wiping the syrup off your daughter's face, you look up and there it is. Art.
By my unscientific estimate there is 1,000 percent more art in restaurants than all of the art in galleries and museums combined. It's a real-world thing. Try ordering coffee without standing near art. You can't. Order a steak without seeing art? Impossible. Art is close to your food.
When the new Whole Foods opened a few months ago, I knew that life was going to change. No longer would my family have to drive that extra 1/5 of a mile and bump carts with the River Oaks elitists at the Kirby Whole Foods. No more crappy dining area inside for my children to cry in. Our Whole Foods had a patio! Our Whole Foods had a bar! It had charging stations for the, like, one or two electric cars in Houston!
It had, most importantly (for this blog post), art!
Let me precede my commentary on the art in Whole Foods with some truth. I know artists can't generally "bring it" when there is a major corporation involved. I understand. A grocery store isn't going to put Paul McCarthy's mechanical pig next to the cold cuts.
What it will do, however, is put art that you won't notice, and likely won't care about, on the wall. Not that any of this art is particularly bad, as I honestly am not offended by any of it, it's just that no risks can be taken. If there's art to be hated or loved, it will probably impact sales somehow, and so it has to do neither.
Here is rundown of what I get twice a week while drinking my energy drink and eating a taco. Also, forgive the shitty phone pictures. My daughter was crying for pancakes and I was shooting over the heads of business professionals trying to enjoy their organic muffins.
Shopping Carts on Plywood
I actually like this piece, because it is huge, and it allows me to stare at something blankly for a while before it's "time to get my grind on." It's non-offensive, and dull. I'm cool with that. It allows me to think "put your shopping cart back after you load the groceries into the car" a few dozen times more than I need to, but I always put my cart back, which is a good thing, I guess.
When I sit under this art I think, "food is pretty great," and "I'm glad I just went shopping for/am eating food." I like food, and would consider eating any one, or a combination, of these plates. I feel like I could at some point sit my children under this picture and point out to them all of the great foods they could eat, but won't because they generally only eat the pancakes from the hot foods section.
You Are Here
I know there is a nasty reflection on this photo that makes it hard to tell what's going on, but so what? It's a reflection of the store on a picture of the store, in the friggin' store. I know! If you're at the Montrose Whole Foods, you're likely too high to understand this, but it's a picture of what appears to be the Montrose Whole Foods, the very store that you're in! I know!