Are Used Socks Modern Art?


Visiting the Tate Modern in London, you’d be forgiven if you had a quiet chuckle at some of the more ‘eclectic’ pieces on display. It seems that modern art has a sense of humor, and let’s hope that some pieces are firmly tongue in cheek, otherwise I think I might be missing something.


Amongst some of the stranger oddities on display as ‘art’ at the Tate Modern are some socks…worn socks. Now, I’m not saying I don’t believe that socks can’t be art, but, really? I have to say that personally I find this a little odd – perhaps if they were Johnny Depp’s socks I would feel differently about the matter. I promise that I’m not weird or anything.


There’s an old 1990’s cassette Walkman in one of the cabinets at the Tate Modern – in fact it’s the same model I was given as a child, passed down from my sister – I think it’s a Sony. Bulky and about the size of a brick, it would look woefully out of place next to today’s hi-tech MP3 players. But is it art? Some would disagree. Sure, I can see a Sony Walkman taking pride of place in a museum that chronicles the evolution of man’s relationship with technology – I’m just not sure about a gallery.

If there isn’t anything catchy in terms of view, seek the place’s architectural or decoration details, such as fine Persian rugs on floors, artwork or painting on walls, amazing crystal chandelier, and attractive furniture in the corners as all these will offer your wedding site something extra.

Video Installations

Video installations at the Tate seem to be the in thing – recently I saw one about bats which was more horrifying than anything else, and concerned the ‘beauty’ of bats flocking together in a cave. Watching this in a darkened room was not for the faint of heart! Again though, recording something on your phone and pressing play? If I want to see bats, I would find some David Attenborough program on BBC iplayer, where not only would I SEE the bats, but I would also be regaled by well-researched information about said bats.

Old fashioned

Call me old fashioned but I prefer my art a little more William Waterhouse and a little less odd. Whilst I can see the beauty in a Pre-Raphaelite painting, sometimes I fail to see it in something as mundane as a sock. Maybe it isn’t meant to be beautiful but just thought provoking – but personally I can’t bring myself to be excited over it. Which is after all what art is about, isn’t it – that one painting or sculpture that you could stand and gaze at for days? The last thing I stood gazing at was one of Michael Talbot’s stunning bronze sculptures in a gallery on Church Street, Kensington. The beauty and fluidity of the figure took my breath away – something that a used Walkman from the 1990’s failed to do.

Modern art fans

It seems as if a new generation has come along that embraces the quirkiness of modern art. I’m all for quirky – but what happened to beautiful? Shouldn’t there be beautiful modern art as well as subversive and controversial pieces that make us stop and stare?

Maybe I’m the one who’s behind the times…maybe used socks are a beautiful, collectable piece of art! If so, going by the amount of worn socks I have, I should think about cashing in!