I wrote this in purple deliberately to try and enhance the intrinsic silliness of art criticism.
Many things annoy me about the art scene – art scenes in general. There is sooooooo much hypocrisy and elitism it is hard to know where to start.
Firstly, there is this: I would say that almost everyone involved in the art world would believe themselves to be some kind of socialist – and yet everything about this “art world” is intensely exclusive. How socialist is that? It isn’t bloody socialist at all!
Ever been to an art gallery and seen a giant canvas covered in one or two colours of paint, thought to yourself “man, that’s crap, I could do that. Why the hell is it here? How is this valid? Why is it worth 60 000 dollars?”

Well there are a bunch of reasons why you are RIGHT.

Firstly, and most tellingly, I think, is that art critical theory is still stuck, like the rest of the critical world in POST MODERNISM (long may their pants be on fire and their intensely fashionable shoes smelly and really, really uncomfortable). One of the most important things about post modernism is that each person brings to the artwork their own history and view, AND THAT THESE VIEWS ARE EQUALLY VALID. This is DOCTRINE, it is DOGMA, it is the PREVAILING THEORY. Someone who has never seen any artwork before and lived their entire life on an island not drawing in the sand or piling coconuts up for purely aesthetic reasons could come along to a painting and look at it, and according to post-modern theory, what they think of it is totally accurate.
It even goes FURTHER than that. According to post modern theory, what the artist INTENDED does NOT MATTER. The primary theory of the last 33 years of silly people taking themselves too seriously and climbing furiously as hard as they can up their own and each other’s asses says that you don’t need to know anything about where the painting comes from or why it was made to have a perfectly legitimate opinion. Postmodernism says, “The artist is dead.”

So, really, in post modernism, you can’t actually be WRONG.

So when next you see a piece of wire with a stuffed budgie hanging from it (though this would be a bit too interesting for most contemporary art) in an art gallery, and you think “well this is a total piece of shit.” Don’t be ashamed. I am not advocating abusing the artist, just don’t be afraid that your opinion is wrong. It can’t be. Equally, you can love a painting that no-one else likes, and that too is perfectly legitimate.


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short piece on art theory and ass spelunking…

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