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MLK, Modern Art, and the Culture of Bad Taste
All sorts childish, nauseating art will be discussed within...beware
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We used to live in a society that had objective standards. When Larry Bird hit a 3-pointer, three points went on the board; everyone loved the Godfather; when teenage boys saw Angie Everhart on the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition, well, never mind…you get the point.
Now, people think everything is subjective; your sex, if obese people are beautiful, how bad Tom Hank’s accent was in Elvis, and especially art.
I know as much about art as I do about building a staircase or string theory, which is nothing. That said, I believe I can discern skilled, aesthetically competent artists from shlock hucksters and modern art, for the most part, falls into the latter category.
I will split modern art into two breeds of drivel peddling. The first variation are the folks with some level of ability but their yearning to be different overtakes their good sense. These people can paint the canvas and mold the clay with a deft hand but have no sense of taste. The second group is made up of fully talentless fraudsters who latch onto the right people because they hock the right shlock, in the right way, at the right time.
Let’s examine both of these subcultures.
Falling into the first group is the “conceptual artist” Hank Willis Thomas. You likely don’t know Thomas by name, but you most likely know his art by now. He is the Michelangelo behind the newly unveiled MLK statue in Boston.
What’s cool about the statue is that, depending on the angle, it looks like either a shit you might take after a giant Tex-Mex dinner the previous night or a cock like that guy from the meme (you know what I mean…we’re all adults here).
The first clue for the Boston officials who selected this guy should have been the “conceptual artist” description. If they wanted a new version of the white/gold or black/blue dress meme, only for defecation and male schlongs, that’s what they would have asked for. Call me old-school, but I like my coffee hot, my jeans loose, and my art to look like the thing it’s supposed to look like.
In an interview with NBC, Thomas had the gall to say, “[b]y the time it was approved, I guess I’ve just been on autopilot like, OK — how do I just not get in the way of history? It really has been my mission over the past several years. [emphasis added]”
Not…get…in…the…way…of…history. Who wants to break the bad news to Hank? Not only did you “get in the way of history,” you collected all of the history Infinity Stones, plopped those bitches into your Thanos Glove, and murdered The Avengers, Batman, Superman, The Hulk, Black Panther, Cat Girl, Antman, and all the other civil rights superheroes with one fell swoop.
You are now the video game big boss of “getting in the way of history,” so if you intended to not get in the way, I’d say that pitch was a bit high and outside.
Now let’s move on to subcategory two; the fraudster.
As the first piece of evidence I submit to the jury, I give you Millie Brown. I came across Brown from a profile in The Daily Mail.
Who is Millie Brown, you ask? She must be devouring the competition in the art scene to get a profile in the Daily Mail, right? The Mail must be just engourging themselves in the glory of her brilliance to spend time chewing the fat with her. They must be honored that she allowed them to supp with her as she gobbled up their questions.
Now that I’ve sufficiently built the tension with various eating allusions, I’ll tell you who she is. Ms. Brown is the world-renowned “Vomit Painter.” I’ll give you three guesses why.
Ms. Brown drinks a selection of different colored soy paints, spews them onto a canvas, and is considered an “artist” by those who wear berets, smoke really long cigarettes in really long holders, and spend 20 minutes staring at a piece of art in a gallery, nodding their heads as if the painting is telling them the secrets of the universe, only to move on to the next one and repeat the nodding process.
Her Michael Jordan-esque emesis skills have earned her a spot in the Lady Gaga video for Exorcist Interlude, where she vomits on the pop icon’s dress. Making her head spin around for my money would have been much more impressive.
Check out this line from the article, “[d]espite having a general idea of what each canvas should look like, Millie prefers to improvise heavily throughout each performance.” The word “prefer” is doing an Atlas amount of work in that sentence. Saying she “prefers” to improvise is like me saying, when I play basketball, I prefer to go with lay-ups, as opposed to 360-degree, windmill dunks…it’s less of a choice than a mandate of physics. Or are we to believe there are times when she doesn’t “prefer to improvise” and can summon sniper-like precision with her barf? She could actually dry-heave The Girl with the Pearl Earring; it’s just that she “prefers” not to, you see.
We are informed that Brown “began pushing the boundaries of the art world after becoming sick of using more traditional methods of painting.” That is certainly a plausible perspective. Let me put forth another theory, if I may…she is talentless, her traditional paintings sucked, and she couldn’t get attention. Therefore she decided to make a spectacle out of herself and garner the attention she so badly craved that way. Am I getting warmer?
But don’t worry about her health; Brown is a vegan, and her otherwise healthy lifestyle balances out the unhealthiness of her upchucking vocation. I was not aware that the stomach acids which melt her esophagus every time she hurls are mitigated by the tempeh burger with almond cheese, non-conflict sourced mustard, served on an artisanal sesame seed bun, handcrafted by African Pygmies, but here I am looking the fool.
Moving on, let’s take someone at the opposite end of their career. I present the curious case of the “genius” Cy Twombly. Twombly, who passed away in 2011 at 83, was a mainstay on the art scene for most of his life, and as a requiem after his death, The Guardian had arty-types reminisce about what he meant to the art world.
One described him as a “knockout” and admitted that he was jealous of his talents. Another described him as “the greatest living painter.”
But of all the superlatives, one found the truth of the matter, no matter how inadvertently.
He brought a certain kind of mark-making to art – that slightly childlike feeling of scribbling on paper, but which suddenly becomes very sensual and full of potential meaning. These were the kind of marks that didn't really exist in painting before him: seedy-like marks and scratchings.
Why do I say this one is the most spot-on? Here is a sampling of Twombly’s work:
“Childlike” - check
“Scribbling on paper” - check
“Marks and scratchings” - you bet.
Oh, and did I forget to mention that the piece at the right sold at auction for 46 million freaking dollars?
If a $46 million piece of art, is indistinguishable from what Sharon Tate may have been doing with her hands in her final minutes on earth, we have genuinely lost the plot.
Are you ready to make your own barf art yet?
Fortunately, some benefits have emerged from modern art. For one, it disproves evolution. As a human species, we went from this…
Prove me wrong, Darwin. I don’t know that even he would disagree. But then again, this also disproves Intelligent Design because what God would allow this…
Context is always important, and this context will help us understand how we have arrived at this sad state of artistic affairs. Modern Art was a CIA psyop used against the Communists. No really.
…this new artistic movement could be held up as proof of the creativity, the intellectual freedom, and the cultural power of the US. Russian art, strapped into the communist ideological straitjacket, could not compete,
This was another ill-conceived CIA trick because it’s more likely the Prols living behind the Iron Curtain saw this trash and thought twice about wanting freedom:
Ivan: You know Dmitry, my family used to go to church every week before the Bolsheviks came in. I would love to live in a free country where I could start going back again.
Dmitry: My family did as well Ivan, but did you see the Capitalists’ gold plated shit? Maybe God doesn’t really exist.
Ivan: Good point Dmitry. I guess we’re screwed in either case. Next thing they will tell us is puking my borcht on a piece of paper is art. HA. Sill Americans
Even if it worked, the state supporting modern art is like their development of the nuke; they were both inventions that may have been immensely useful at the time to defeat our mortal enemies, but now we want to unmake them because of their mortal threat (the threat of cultural stupidity in the case of modern art, and nuclear holocaust in the case of nukes…I’ll get back to you on which is worse).
Anyway, I need to use the bathroom now…with the current state of the stock market, I am hoping it can produce my retirement plan.