Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Art can be idiotic.

I’ve always had a fairly tenuous relationship with visual art. I don’t know much about it, I have pretty specific tastes, and I think a lot of it is complete horseshit. Specifically, abstract and conceptual art is often horseshit. I’m not saying all of it is bad, but I’ve seen a lot of examples of horseshit in the few exhibits I’ve been to.

I’m sure you’ve gone to an art gallery with somebody that doesn’t want to be there, or at least stood near a group where someone was dragged along. Inevitably, that person will say something to the effect of, “Jesus Christ, I did a child draw this? Shit, I could do this!”

This adulation for the mundane has now been taken to a whole new level. In a few weeks, an exhibit by Aelita Andre will open in New York. Why is this notable? She's four-fucking-years-old.

FOUR. She’s been deemed a prodigy by the art community for her abstract paintings. That should be read: Dribbles with paint on canvas. It’s nothing more than that. Every four-year-old makes paintings like that. You know why? Because they don’t yet have the talent to really express themselves in a meaningful way, so they just throw a bunch of shit together because it’s fun. Watch the video in the article. She’s playing. She’s not throwing this on that because it represents anything. She’s doing it because it’s fun to do. If that’s all it takes to be a prodigy, then I’m a prodigy at swimming, watching Maury Povich, and eating sandwiches.

The first question that popped into my mind was answered before I even asked it, somehow. How did she get into this shit? Here comes the surprise: Both of her parents are artists. Wow, never would’ve guessed. They probably saw their kid pick up a paintbrush one day because it had a drop of water on it and it looked pretty, and they were like, “Honey! Holy fuck. She’s meant to be an artiste!”

The story goes, her mother showed some of her work to the curator of an exhibition and he liked it. She then told the guy that it was done by her kid. He’ll never admit it, but here’s what happened: He got caught in his own bullshit. Immediately, he thought, “Oh fuck. A kid drew that? I know it looks like a kid drew it, but adults throw this shit together all the time and then retards buy it for thousands of dollars. If I say I don’t like it now that I know a kid did it and not some dumbass adult, the whole charade will be recognized and the entire industry will crumble, not to mention the fact that I’ll look like a total boner.” So instead of saying, “Oh right. I should have known a kid drew that,” he said, “I don’t care. She’s a prodigy.”

And the really fucked up part is that everybody believed him. Now she’s traveled the world, had a 60 Minutes piece done about her, has her trash hung in Europe, Asia, and Australia instead of on her mom’s refrigerator where it belongs, and people are calling her a genius.

The article talks about her like she’s the offspring of Jesus, John Lennon, every Queen of England ever, and Aphrodite. They praise her, saying “despite all her fame and international travel, she continues to maintain a child’s innocent perspective.” You know why she has a child’s innocent perspective? Because she’shttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif fucking four-years-old. Do you expect her to be smoking cigarettes and talking about how the world is a hollow shell driven by consumerism and populated by charlatans? She’s four. She’s too busy thinking about fruit snacks.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not ripping on the Aelita. In fact, good for her. She’s getting paid for being a kid. That’s awesome. It’s the art community that I think needs to seriously re-evaluate how they operate. The definition of “art” has always been an evolving subject. I don’t doubt that her paintings can be labeled as “art.” But I doubt they’re worth between $4,500 and $9,000 a piece (which is what they’re selling for). At most, they’re worth the cost of the canvas and paint plus the banana from your lunch box. That’s all kid’s art is ever worth: Whatever you can trade for it at lunch.

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