Tuesday, June 21, 2005

You're Probably Not An Artist

I enjoy and appreciate art as much as the next person, but the fact is, 99% of the garbage out there that people call "art", is anything but. Like most things in life, the art world is polluted by pretentious posers desperate for attention and validation. Considering its subjectivity, how can you tell the difference between God-honest art and some jackass who did a watercolor painting with their balls and called it, "The Psychological End of Romantic Displacement"? Here are a few handy clues that you're probably not an artist:

1. You're an Art Student (Double if your parents are paying) -- San Francisco is full of trust-fund hipsters who dress themselves up like paper dolls from Vice Magazine, and call themselves "artists" because they think it adds authenticity to their ridiculous and completely inane lifestyles. There's nothing wrong with wanting to drink Pabst all day while listening to indie rock and trying to figure out how to get people to sleep with you (in fact, that's what I do), but don't be an asshole by trying to claim this sort of existence makes you "an artist" or whatever. Also, you'd think you morons could get together and figure out that Art Students were ripping off Basquiat about 8 years before you were.

2. You Do "Performance Art" -- I'm sorry, but being a fucking weirdo doesn't make you an artist. Otherwise, with all the schizos and meth-heads on my block, I'd be living in the middle of the Louvre. Doing weird shit just means you're doing weird shit. So strap all on the little blinking lights, light yourself on fire and rollerblade down the street screaming, "Sister Christian", but don't call yourself a fucking artist.

3. You refer to yourself as "an artist" -- I think I've met this guy at every party I've ever been to. He's the one who tells you he's an artist before he even tells you his name. When asked about what kind of art he does, you can expect and incoherent string of words like, "evocative", "confrontational", and "avant garde". In fact, if you use the phrase "avant garde" in any context, you're probably not an artist. This person can usually be found at shitty street "art fairs" in small suburban towns, selling overpriced crap to rich soccer moms who wouldn't know the difference between a Chuck Close and a Chuckie Cheese.

4. You've Ever Been To Burning Man -- Burning Man is like Disneyland for deluded jerk-offs who call themselves artists to feel better about the fact that they've sold out and they're just regular old corporate worker bees like the rest of us. Instead of Burning Man, they should just call this the "Annual Worldwide Conference of Upper-Middle Class Pretentiousness and Delusion". I was at this party the other night with a bunch of Burning Man douchebags, scarfing down hummus and vegan lasagna while they regaled each other with stories of their latest "totally amazing" nudist retreat where "everyone had such great energy". Ironically, I wanted to set the whole fucking place on fire.

5. You've DJ'd Anywhere, Ever -- Douchebag.

6. You give people tattoos -- While you are certainly providing a service, you aren't an artist and therefore should not be referred to as such. No, I don't care how good you are. Drawing skulls wrapped in snakes and roses onto the bodies of drunken punk rock kids doesn't exactly make you Pablo Picasso. In fact, name one famous "tattoo artist". Exactly, you can't because there aren't any because you're not a fucking artist. So why don't you get back to work - I'm sure some sorority girl needs her bellybutton pierced.

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