Nature’s Gift (2017) is a controversial Postmodern Art installation currently on view at the Oakland Museum of California until January 21st but offers a good explanation of what Postmodernism is.

Art has become too theoretical and wrapped too much in philosophy that it makes it inaccessible to the average person. Not everyone gets it. Some of the newest movements and advancements in art are very hard to understand even for scholars and book worms. People who study this topic and criticize it don’t always get the artist’s intended meaning or message out of it. Modernism was cake. It was easy to understand that the artists were making fun of art. They changed drawing, painting, and sculpture into something new, but not altogether hard to understand. But then there was Postmodern Art. Even the name is confusing. Okay, so what’s the difference between Classic, Modernism, and Postmodernism and how is Contemporary Art different? Most people don’t even know when Postmodern Art began… or ended. But Postmodern Art questions everything… which is why it’s so hard to understand. And Postmodern Art is also about identity and who the spectator is as a human and as an individual. This forward-thinking sculpture demonstrates these traits perfectly. Nature’s Gift exemplifies Postmodern artwork through questions, experiences, and identity.

Postmodern Art


This is a Postmodern Art gift of smashed together neon bubble gums. The flavors are endless; there are blues, violets, pinks, and greens. Large organic 3-dimensional shapes make up this colorful sculpture as they softly change colors. One can almost taste the colors as they walk around or through the sculpture. A person might feel like an ant scouting out the sweetness of Bubble Gum Mountain. The inflated sculpture measures about 15 feet high and 55 feet long and permits spectators to touch it and to walk through it. The massive scale might make people feel like a tiny insect in comparison. The sculpture is playful like children’s candy but offers some sweet surprises for more serious art connoisseurs offering several Postmodern questions.

This is Postmodern Art

This work is a Postmodern Art machine that questions art unlike many benign dusty old paintings in their fading gold frames. Nature’s Gift is like a giant balloon soldier ready to challenge anything. Like all good Postmodern art, its divergence from classic museum art makes visitors wonder why it’s in the galleries at all. Nature’s Gift is ready to duke any controversy out through questioning norms. This enormous balloon being has one very apparent question. By being so unusual, the work raises the question, “What is art?” Can art be giant psychedelic inflatable balloon creatures? This inflated sculpture can also challenge high and low art. It may also raise the question, “Is Nature’s Gift pastiche?” Does it belong in a museum, should it be shown in an art gallery, or should it be used as a kitchey bounce house for some child’s birthday party? This perhaps kitchey machine produces endless questions. It is the mere questions raised that make this a Postmodern work.

…works are meant to prompt a wide spectrum of untapped emotions, from playfulness to self-reflection, enabling both personal and shared experiences – Friends with You

Nature’s Gift is a soiree. It is a ball and a banquet. It is an experience. Walking underneath the sculpture is like being in a cramped elevator or on a crowded bus ride. Walking through the tight corridor visitors can’t help but bump into one another and form a brief relationship with one another. The work is made to promote and examine the quick glances people might exchange in an elevator or the brushing of jackets on a bus. The art collective points out the similarities between their Postmodern Art efforts of human interactivity themselves. It is these “shared experiences” that bring this kind of work to the level of Postmodernism. This engaging piece is a Postmodern experience.

Another big part of Nature’s Gift and Postmodern Art is reflexivity and self reflection. Friends with You doesn’t care about erasing mistakes. They don’t care about blending and smoothing brushstrokes to make their paintings look realistic. They don’t care about using shutters and walls to cover the real materials that make up architecture. Friends with You uses the necessary materials to show the viewer the work and how it is made. There is nothing hidden, just a big inflated sculpture that changes colors. The surface of Nature’s Gift in a way seems translucent reflecting back the viewer’s own image. According to Friends with You Nature’s Gift is true to its materials and to the viewer’s identity. This piece is designed to be reflective of, not the viewer’s image, but their identity and is designed to be a way to look inward to one’s consciousness. This reflection is Postmodern.

Written by

Topher is the founder and editor of Culture Hog Magazine. He studies art history and works at the Oakland Museum of California. Topher values strong community and worldwide healing and progress via the arts.



Make a Shout Out

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Famous Art Parodies of Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel

Famous Art Parodies of Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel

Famous art parodies and parody paintings can be funny, but how and what else is going on behind the paint? It is a Postmodern world where nothing is new. Everyone has been down the endless amount of rabbit holes on the internet. People have all been on meme binges, looking at gifs for hours, or just … Read more

Photography Cropping Rules in Black Lives Matter Photos

Photography Cropping Rules in Black Lives Matter Photos

Looking can be dangerous and photography cropping rules make certain images bias against the Black Lives Matter movement. Napoleon was an exterminator. He was a butcher and an assassin. He sounds sort of like a modern day police officer. In 1808 an atrocious crusade was lead through Spain by Napoleon killing innocent people for their … Read more

Best Contemporary Art Galleries in the World

Best Contemporary Art Galleries in the World

Here is a visitor’s guide to the best Contemporary Art galleries in the world. Galleries that represent emerging and established artists have become the most popular destinations for art lovers to get high on creativity, inspiration, and introspection. In the hierarchy of art homes, art galleries come right next to museums. Like every piece of … Read more


Hungry for More?

Access the FREE monthly Culture Grub newsletter now!

Don't Miss Out!

Access your FREE rewards now.

Earn rewards for donating to something that benefits you and the rest of the world.

Learn More Now