Tough love from Big Hank

Cheers to McSweeney’s. In what is essentially an homage to Jim Belushi’s skit as a chess coach on Saturday Night Live in the mid-80s, Oyl Miller modifies the premise for a witty satire of the current art scene. My favorite line from Big Hank Bricklaw to one of his students: “People have to think there is something wrong with you.” There’s plenty more where that came from. Here’s a sample that hit home for me, someone for whom the still life never ceases to lose its appeal:

What the hell are these still lives? You’re just going through the motions with your painting, kid! These are high school level art class toss offs. You wanna make it to the kind of cutting edge galleries whose walls are bare and only open to B-list celebrities on Tuesdays at three in the morning? You think a smudgy pastel rendering of an inoffensive, submissive, realistically colored little peach is your ticket there? What if it were rotten? What it if had a deformed arm sticking out of it? What if it had dinosaur fangs that represented capitalist desire? These are exactly the kinds of thoughts real artists think. Do you even think? You need point of view in your work rookie. The artwork needs to drip with your disturbing vision.

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