I took my 7 year old grandson, N, to the Orlando Museum of Contemporary Art. He had just participated in two weeks of Art Camp at a local gallery. I thought I'd take him to an art museum to broaden his horizon.
N is psyched to go any place that has a gift shop. This gift shop was up front by the admissions counter. Big mistake. He wanted to go there right away. I dug deep to invoke all my Grandma power, convincing him the gift shop would be the end of our adventure.
We first encountered a blown glass sculpture as tall as the ceiling. It looked like an purple and yellow alien Christmas tree. He thought that was cool. I felt hopeful.
Next was a contemporary painting with no definable shape. It depicted stylized, frenetic representations of angry people wearing horse heads. He pondered it before exclaiming "Whoah, that's just WRONG!"
Horse Head painting must have really creeped him out, because I had to cajole him into the other gallery spaces. He stood outside the entrance ways pointing towards the gift shop. He wanted to leave. He was actually afraid, poor kid.
I thought maybe abstractions were the problem, but he seemed equally freaked by the representational art. We stopped in front of a large painting of a woman with two children. It was painted in a loose, impressionistic style with thick impasto. His thoughts? "Why does it seem like she's staring at me, Grandma?"
The next room had reasonably benign landscapes. Not interested, he high-tailed it through to the next room which brought him to a skidding halt. An artist had piled all sorts of daily artifacts, toys, and plastic fruit/veg about a foot high on a long, narrow table and spray painted the entire piece bright pink. I loved it. He didn't want to go near it. His eyes were as big as saucers.
He power-walked through various rooms without looking. Happily, the final room saved the day. An artist created miniature rooms in glass boxes with all the related teeny accoutrements. There were also headphones alongside the displays. Niko liked putting the headphones on. I have no idea what the artist was telling him, but it made him happy. Perhaps the guy said "Find the gift shop, young Skywalker."
And that's what we did. Art may now be ruined for him, but he got a great toy. A CubeBot, which is a representational abstraction, right?