On Little Clarendon Street, there’s an art shop. In the window, there’s a framed, printed target. Above the target are the words ‘the first printed target’.
As if you weren’t already gripped by the staggering sub-fucking-versiveness, it’s followed by a question mark. And beneath that’s the price tag: two grand.
When I get older, I’m going to sell art, because it’s the easiest job in the world. My first piece will be a centimetre-wide green triangle on an eleven-foot white canvas. I’ll call it ‘War’.
Just in case you aren’t gripped by the staggering sub-fucking-versiveness, I might add a question mark (‘What is “war,” anyway?’).
When I get to the dealers, I’ll tell them it was drawn by an autistic Colombian genius over five months, at one dot per day. It’ll sell for forty grand.
Art today is idiocy made expensive. I don’t mean to generalise, but it all is, so I will. Take Banksy. Now, he’s seen as the aerosol Messiah at the cutting edge of the forefront of tomorrow.
But he’s rubbish; a more irritating equivalent of a stoned friend at a party asking the toaster why the world can’t just get along.
He can’t sneeze without someone bidding on the snot, but everything he does boils down to ‘capitalism is bad’, or ‘war isn’t nice.’
I’ve spent the last week building a Random Banksy Generator – when I press the button, I get ‘art’. The first one’s of 9/11, except instead of the planes, there’s cups of Starbucks, and from the fiftieth floor, Mickey Mouse is crying.
The Statue of Liberty is crouched in an orange Guantanamo jumpsuit, and the flames are made of Britney Spears. What does this actually mean? Nothing much, but I hear it pays well.
Some people once genuinely thought that art is a reflection of the self. Of course, we’ve all forgotten this now, and all we have now is contrived ‘points’ with pretend ‘depth’, the artist’s job being to look slightly cleverer than you do.
Look at any student poetry magazine, and you’ll see my point. Here’s one poem: it’s written upside down, every ninth word is in Danish, and the sentences start with full stops.
It’s called ‘Dubya?’, and if you don’t get it, you’re a philistine.
Yet at the end of it, we’ve learned nothing about either the author or ourselves. It’s hardly art at all; and if so many bereted dustbrains fall down in worship, more fool them.
Oxford’s brim-filled with these types, it seems, who think that writing with a pin and a dictionary make them ‘postmodern’. But they’ve forgotten that art is about the emotion and the message.
We’re sliding towards Banksy’s cold, pretentious idiocy, when I’d actually give anything for a little feeling.