It used to be that you could only purchase fine art from a gallery, in a pristine room with high prices and tiny printed descriptions next to each piece. Now, fine art is available for everyone to browse online, on pristine web pages with high prices and tiny HTML descriptions underneath. It's a revolution!
Forever accompanying fine art, especially contemporary fine art, is the argument "that's not even art." I'm happy to tell you that everything I'm about to show you is definitely art. It's shitty art, it says nothing, and is worth even less, but it's still art. That's the cool thing about art! Wait, actually, no, the cool thing about art is when it's good and makes you get ideas or feelings.
Let's start with "Untitled Pink," this 2014 piece by Wissel Ruski. It'll run you a cool $10,000, and believe it or not, it's dated 2014. This dude only had 10 months to finish this painting, if he started in January, and he still managed to complete it. A true monster of art.
Art doesn't have to be painted or drawn, though. It can be literally a pile of garbage that resembles someone on TV. If you like television and garbage, and statistically, you probably do (because you speak English), then drop forty big ones into this artist's wallet and enhance your trash-based life!
Ohhhhhh shiiiit! Did the dude REALLY make a flag out of real hundred dollar bills? That is blowing up my whole idea of capitalism, and I'm starting to wonder if it's wrong. Actually no, now I know it's completely wrong. When you put the flag on money, then it's like, ohhhhh shiiiit. Blows your mind.
The good news with this one is that $2,400 of the $5,200 you'll spend for it is actual money, if you can get the paint off.
What if Obama was president again, for a third time, illegally? That's the provocative question artist T. M. MacLowe poses with this ten-foot-long fake Obama sign. He's asking for answers, and also $17,000.
In his biography, MacLowe lists about ten other artists, including Banksy, and asks you to compare him to them. I won't do that! That's the great thing about art! You don't have to compare bad art to something good. You can just say it's bad.
Ron, who I'm going to refer to by his first name, glued 200 soup cans together. "Two hundred different cans?" you might ask. Nope. Just two hundred of them. A lot of them are black beans (zoom in on the product listing if you must know the exact breakdown.) Would you see this up on the wall at a burger joint? No, you wouldn't, because it's not old enough, and they don't want you to lose your appetite.
"Fuck it," some guy said, "I'll just... fuckin... Put, like, a branch, on... a, uh... Give me something from your desk. Yeah, a comb. That's fine." His artist bio claims: He wants his work to leave its audience with inquiry, evoking questions like, "What does this mean and how is this made?" Sorry to burst your bubble, bro, but it was made by sticking a piece of a tree on a comb and it has no meaning.
This is a seven-foot-tall painting of exactly what it looks like. I'm not even going to go into it. It costs about what you would expect.
Fold some paper and then unfold it and hang it in the municipal center? Don't mind if I do.
Paint a replica of a viral 'net jpeg? Why not? It's the perfect place to end this tour of awful art, because ultimately, we've beaten the art world at its own game. For thousands of years, it was the premier place for a person to disappear up their own butthole. But in having developed the Internet as a place where the tepid replication of culture can flourish, we've perfected the butthole-crawl.
Like a photocopy that's copied again and again, shades of grey wash out to simple black and white, and eventually to nothing at all. If art, or the Internet, is man's greatest triumph, then surely we're doomed to drive ourselves into extinction, jacking off and hanging trash on walls until our last breaths.
Drew Fairweather is the author of three daily sites: The Worst Things for Sale, Toothpaste for Dinner, and Married to the Sea.
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