I don’t know what I like, but I know art


$10,000 please.

Gallery Parsnippy is delighted and positively damp with pleasure as we present new artistic works in our spring show.

“Zoltan’s Anvil” by Trevor Sproud – mixed media
Free at last, free at last, peanut-free at last. This is the visionary future conveyed in Sproud’s triumphant embrace via meta-whimsical nuance of a mixed retrovision, encapsulated in this stunning new piece: a jar of Planters dry-roasted peanuts embedded in an ant farm. The jar itself is filled with the shredded bits of vintage hockey cards, reminding the viewer of a more innocent time, now lost, or perhaps tossed in the trash during an impulsive basement purge, regrettably so, because those cards would be worth a fortune now. But can the past or the future truly be monetized? Obviously. The ants-as-community-as-proletariat are reminders that all those television extras one sees in restaurant scenes are talking to each other about their plans to give up acting and go back to sod farming.

“This Charming Ham” by Bill – installation free; shipping $25
Breaking away from the artistic compliance of his “Untitled #14” through “Untitled #26” (with the exception of “Untitled #23,” which defied expectations through its relentless self-assertion and strenuous use of photos cut out of an Abercrombie & Fitch catalogue), the mono-nomenclatured Bill – AKA the Wunderkind of Walla Walla – stretches gender politics and chastises conventional sexuality by standing in a bucket of veal wearing only sheer American Apparel leggings. Like, you can totally see everything. A challenge to feminism or a feminist challenge? Bill ain’t saying. Viewers are encouraged to express their thoughts in a guest book housed in a vintage phone booth emblazoned with the word “GROSS.” Yes.

“Artist of a Man as a Young Portrait” by Eric Broog – crayon and petroleum jelly on a shelf
Broog kindles an essence of himself through the forging of aspiration, artistic fortitude and a trust fund that just won’t quit, bringing them to exquisite heights in this latest piece wherein the nature of revelation is revealed as fraudulent. In other words: crayon and petroleum jelly on a shelf. Just like it says. The description becomes the work and the work becomes the description. As who doesn’t? Assumptions are made when we find that the crayon in question is burnt sienna, only to have those assumptions overturned when we find the petroleum jelly is the cheap Dollar Store kind. Broog’s sense of humour is once again brought to the fore when he stands behind viewers of this latest piece and laughs his head off.

“Ring” by Sylvia Shchmhidt – found plumbing
“The genocide of 6 million Jews reverberates through the metamorphosis of creativity, in the crying out of the hunted and the bloody hands of the hunter, except on Wednesdays, and only through the process of indelible certainty can the truth, as hearty as victory, as tribal as Africa, be taken out to a nice restaurant for brunch.” So writes Sylvia Shchmhidt in the text accompanying her latest work. And she does go on: “The iconography of bloodshed and the purity of the transcendence of the work itself ensure the audience that he/she/my friend Marcel are never going to manage their credit card debt any time soon.” Within this context, the audience is asked to observe closely – but not too closely; back up! – this latest installation: a pure white bathtub with a single piece of dental floss draped over the side.

“not very good” by Lillian-Jane Walker-Walker – watercolour on pizza box
The iconoclastic Walker-Walker challenges our preconceptions of art by turning in a painting that is dismal, bad and just plain ugly. We think it’s a puppy eating a jelly sandwich. Or it might be Helen Keller on a blind date. We can’t tell. Walker-Walker tackles with linebacker-like zeal the notion that art is a teachable talent, as the self-taught Walker-Walker knows only so well. By choosing to paint her latest piece with her left hand, all the while sustaining herself on a diet of white bread and Xanax, Walker-Walker becomes both the accused and jury, sinner and redeemer, Captain and Tennille.

“I Don’t Think So” by Awning Shaftlight – oil on canvas on fire
Time and substance as ephemeral entities. Art as material object. Lighter fluid as critic and catalyst. Flame as consumer. Smoke detector as a cry for attention in a jaded world. Fire department as an approach to understanding. Smoke inhalation as a health hazard. Insurance company as raised consciousness and premiums. That’s about it. [No longer on exhibit.]


About rossmurray1

I'm Canadian so I pronounce it "Aboot." No, I don't! I don't know any Canadian who says "aboot." Damnable lies! But I do know this Canadian is all about humour (with a U) and satire. Come by. I don't bite, or as we Canadians say, "beet."
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43 Responses to I don’t know what I like, but I know art

  1. BuntyMcC says:

    Oh, good. It’s not just me. I bought the Town/Silcox book on Tom Thomson years (and years) ago thought it was written in a foreign language.

  2. BuntyMcC says:

    missing an ‘and’ up there between ago and thought

  3. Paul says:

    Oh, Oh! “I Don’t Think So” – oil on canvas on fire – is by far my favorite with “not very good” – watercolour on pizza box – a distant second. I see by the spelling of “watercolour” that this installation helps to fill the Canadian content of the exhibit. Once “I Don’t Think So” is destroyed by fire, then “not very good” will represent a larger percentage of the content and hence meet the Canadian content requirements. Although there is a metaphysical argument that “I Don’t Think So” has always existed and always will exist because it once existed. If that argument is brought into play then “not very good” is not enough to meet Canadian content. It is critical, therefore, that the Art Inspectors, not be metaphysical in perspective. That does not mean that the Art Inspectors cannot be seen to have always existed because they currently exist, but rather that they not believe that they have always existed, or more importantly that they do not believe that “I Don’t Think So” exists to eternity even after it has gone up in flames.

    As you can see Ross, the most important characteristic of this collection of art works is that it not be seen as having always existed and existing to eternity because it now exists. There can be no metaphysical perspective inherent in the installation or “not very good” will not be sufficient Canadian content to allow the exhibit and hence the exhibit will never have existed and never will exist – being banned by the Art Inspectors.

  4. You better make sure these ideas are protected by copy-write law because I could see a few of them appearing in the local modern art museum. A few days ago, I saw a ball of barbed wire, to boards nailed together, and a neon sign all sitting in the middle of the Seattle Art Museum floor. The “Do not touch” warning taped to the floor was more interesting to me, but then again, I was too lazy to walk the five feet to read the placard on the wall to see if the ball of wire meant something…I’m pretty sure it would have said something like Zolton’s Anvil.

    • rossmurray1 says:

      I’m in the midst of preparing a fundraising silent auction of artwork. “Can you summarize the pieces from the descriptions on the gallery website?” I’ve been tearing my hair, so this was very therapeutic.

  5. pinklightsabre says:

    Reblogged this on Pinklightsabre's Blog and commented:
    If for some odd reason you’re not following Ross, you should. Have a snort at his latest, here. The world needs more clowns.

  6. pinklightsabre says:

    You are on a roll.

  7. Nailed it! Art exhibit catalogs make terrific bathroom lit too…

    May I steal some of the artists’ names to use on telemarketers? “No, he doesn’t live here anymore. This is the Awning Shaftlight residence.”

  8. Tez says:

    Very chortle worthy.

  9. Carrie Rubin says:

    This is great. That’s pretty much how I understand art. We went to a modern art museum recently (something I haven’t done in years), and though some things were cool, mostly I just scratched my head. My 15-year-old son really liked it though. Guess he knows something I don’t…

    • rossmurray1 says:

      I really do like art and the challenge it presents sometimes. It really is the words used to express the ideas that confounds me. I guess that’s why a picture is worth a 1000 words of jargon.

  10. The words…are art…all in themselves…

    A delicious creme-brule of a post – a tantalizing treat for sweets-craving eyes.

  11. vsvevg says:

    Omg laughing too hard to type!

  12. Oh my. You made my day. 😀

  13. I got tagged for this!? Hell, yeah! I inspired a post. That is ridiculous ArtNews blather is a little worrisome but what the hell. I’ll take what I can get. What? No spider webs? I know these descriptions are meant to sound preposterous but you’d be shocked at how close they are to the real thing. This, from the actual press release of the spider web exhibit:

    “For Saraceno, spider webs spark inquiry into possible modes to redefine relationships between humans and nature, proposing utopian conditions for sustainable societies.

    What?! What’s that supposed to mean?! It’s like they ripped you off.

    • rossmurray1 says:

      Hey! You saw the tag! The tag represents one part inspiration and two parts “Hey, Mark!”
      My rage against art-speak goes back years. When I was at the newspaper and we’d get a release from a gallery, I’d tear my hair. Often we’d just cut the nonsense, run the event, the time and a picture. That’s it.
      The thing is, I’ll give art itself the benefit of the doubt because I haven’t studied art, so it’s a language I’m not familiar with. But I do know words, and art-speak is either nonsense or purposely obscure. Either way, it ain’t communicating, baby.

  14. Wow, it was like I was right there, on a burnt sienna high that came crashing down with the cold, squishy reality of dollar store petroleum jelly. Isn’t that just like life?

  15. cat9984 says:

    You could make a fortune on the catalog.

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