Review Of Local Adult Student Art Show

1.

This position of this guy’s hips is definitely art. I don’t know which Macy’s he got that belt from but I love the way the light coming off it matches the color of the rain that’s coming down on the flower field while he pretends to play the violin. I’m not a violinist but I’m pretty sure that fretting hand is more like an appendage in mid-palsy than in making actual notes. Considering this gallery is in a suburb of Atlanta and usually frequented by upper middle-class retirees and housewives, I feel sure the photographer had very different ideas about what makes this photo cool than I do but I like anything that makes me feel like, Jesus, did someone really make this? I’d definitely go see this guy’s band if he’s in a band, though only if it were free and early in the evening and I had somewhere else to be.

2.

A great example of the “write what you know” dictum brought to paint? I’m confused about the line forming the wineglass, how crayon-y and standoffish it is, and how the wall just looks the same behind it. Where are they inside a banana? Pretty sure if you were wearing that wall color on a battlefield people wouldn’t shoot you because they felt sorry for you. That cork is seriously in trouble. Seems like the person worked all class on the bottle while drinking off the bottle and then realized they only had 20 minutes left to fill the whole rest of the canvas and by then were sloshed and remembered after the class let out they had to go home to their kids and hang out with the kids, which is the reason they decided to take a painting class in the first place, to avoid the kids.

3.

Gosh, what happened here? Are those gummy worms dipped in tempra paint affixed onto a square of pepperoni? I don’t even want to look at the lower square, which makes me wonder if that was the artist’s intention, like, You can’t handle my art, I am a wild one, I will make you turn your head. The candy blue is kind of nice. I wish the whole canvas was just that blue, like they just took this thing and dipped it in the blue. My favorite thing, though, is the copyright info under the artist’s name in the lower right-hand corner, that’s ambitious, though their hand was so unsteady I can’t even tell what year the copyright is supposed to be. Pretty sure if I were married to someone who was paying to take an art class and went to an exhibit at the end and saw this on the wall with the name of the person I slept next to each night on it I would just turn around and walk out of the gallery and get and my car and drive.

4.

I don’t know, this kind of rules. I hope it’s not just that this dog looks like the dog I had as a kid who when I was in third grade got diabetes and fainted into the pool in our backyard and drowned and is now cremated with its ashes buried in my parents’ backyard in a heart-shaped urn. The dog’s name was Ashes, too, for real. This dog’s name seems more like Gandalf or Timmy. Either way, the dog’s beard is pretty sweet and so are its eyes, which look like black olives. I like how he’s kind of lifting the one ear like the red plant (that’s a plant right?) is whispering to tell him something about you. I like how Timmy doesn’t give a crap that he’s standing in a very thin trickle of toxic sludge that ends right where he is. Hey, that’s the same blue from the monstrosity above. I like to imagine the two artists trying to share the communal tube of Turquoise Vacation and waiting impatiently for the other to get through any time they come to borrow it whether either of them really need it or not and talking crap to the other students after hours about what a tube hog the other is.

5.

Sorry, whoever made this, but you can’t drive an SUV live in a four-bedroom house in one of the richest suburbs in the southern United States and still get to make “outsider” art. Or maybe you can. Maybe the day-drunk wine head middle class are the only true outsiders we have left, even given the obvious mimicry of crap they saw in the monthly fundraiser pamphlets the downtown museum sends you because your spouse makes eight figures a year. Either way, this looks more like the artist was at a Braves game and drank too many wine shooters and started hallucinating his or her own whole-visual-field product placement to go with every other inch of America, and so why not bring it back into the work? Seriously, the colors in this make me want to suffocate myself, which might be the only thing this piece has going for it.

6.

In its own way, this is kind of disturbing, and not because it looks like twin alien pods whose bodies are entirely covered over with a limey rind leaving only single anus-like bright red bloodholes to breathe and kind of stare together like shy lovers out at the viewer, not to mention the skin-shriveling combo of purple and yellow background threads the topmost of which feeds into the scalp part of the aliens as if they are together sucking down the sky of whatever Xanax-land this artist channeled into the canvas, accidentally or not, in such a way that at the end once they signed their work they had to cage off the initials with a little deformed black square-like design to keep their namesake separate from the orbs, though even that is bleeding over into the black puddles the things are seated on or in or have just begun exuding. What’s disturbing is that someone was thinking about olives and maybe even eating olives when they painted this and then elected to have it hung in a light filled room where others could come and see.

7.

Those shorts rule and that bucket is nice and that kid is great but this picture totally blows. I can’t help imagining the photographer actually was aiming at the people in the water and for a while was mad their shot got ruined by the loud kid on the beach outside their beach home until the instructor of the class was going through all the possible entries for the exhibition meant to demonstrate that you can teach art and students are capable of something interesting and found this and was like in Bob Ross voice, Oh what a happy little accident. You’re so wild.

8.

This cat’s face says it all. TC mark

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  • ok

    you are not a very nice person

  • JD

    rude…

  • rachel

    Someday, Blake Butler, your no-nonsense commentary and unflinchingly brutal art-criticism will break through the cynical, uninspired greed of the contemporary Continuing Education Art Class Gallery Show world.
    Someday, Blake Butler, you will be the champion of a true, pure, Continuing Education Art.
    You are a brave, brave man.

  • elle

    I love this piece.

  • http://newyorker.com Anthony Lane

    It would be funny to mock pretension or questionable competency at a professional show, but these are students bro. As a writer, don’t you want to support aspiring creative types regardless of their inherent abilities (or lack thereof LOL)? Do you think this piece is a more earnest artistic endeavor and contains more truth than the work of these students? Discuss.

  • Lucy

    too far

  • CH

    This is great. Thank you.

  • NICK

    They’re trying, they’re improving, they’re receiving useful constructive criticism from everybody but you, they’re bearing their soul and attempting creative expression–just as you do–and you shit all over their efforts for your own masturbatory gratification.

    Fuck you.

  • H.

    HATER ALERT.

    I found this article very sad because you have probably spent more than 30 seconds writing it, which is more than the time needed to understand how dumb and mean it is.

    Imagining you being so proud of what you were going to write while taking your pictures (maybe even under the proud eyes of the students themselves) makes me thing you are evil.

    If you think you are an artist and that you add something to people’s lives and to society, think twice. Because what I see from this is that you are typically the kind of person who makes others censor themselves because they are afraid of being mocked.

    You think pieces like this will help you assert to everyone else how great and talented and better than everybody you are, but really you’re only killing art before it even exists, thus making this world a little uglier and a little more cynical and making people more frustrated because they try to express stuff in a somewhat clumsy way through writing or photographs or paintings or whatever and all the feedback they get is crap like that from Mr. Good Taste.

  • Lady

    This article really begs the question, “And just who the fuck are you?”

  • S.Jones

    You’re a fucking asshole

  • Anon

    This was hilarious, people need to calm their tits.

  • K-Zone

    You’re just writing what everyone REALLY thinks when they go to these things! I found this hilarioussssss.

  • http://www.facebook.com/qsxdrf Blake Butler

    in case it was unclear, i am liking these arts.

  • https://twitter.com/kill_kylee Kylee

    This was fantastic and funny and not mean-spirited at all!

    I went to a “community art show” recently where they asked everyone to vote for the “audience favorite” award. I spent an hour wandering back and forth eating stale gallery-provided tortilla chips and was unable to select a favorite.

  • dana

    I am actually really digging the texture and color in the olives! And it’s very suggestive, in a subdued way. I like it. Dog is *almost* there, the artist needs a lesson in foreshortening.

  • http://samanthastanway.wordpress.com SStanway

    Fond memories of Maddox’s “shitty childrens’ artwork.” Classic.

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