Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Art Critic

This piece is just meant to be plain sarcastic and doesn't actually reflect my views on women. I just feel that there are these sort of people floating around keeping awful art around in museums.


God, there he is. Look at him. His bald pate. His glasses. His suit. Everything about him exudes confidence. Even his monocle that he wore and his beard that smelled like an old goat convinces everyone that he is THE art critic for this board. I'll never be as good as him. I can't manage to toss back the endless amounts of gin, cheese, and crackers like he can at gallery debuts. He does it with such a...*sigh* je ne sais pas. He's looking at me, what do I say? Me, a mere pawn on the board, and he. He, a sheer master of his art, a professorship to his name along with several dissertations on many works.
"Good afternoon, sir. It's pleasant this evening, is it not?"
"Hell no it's not! Damn parking police pulled one over on me and gave me a ticket! Don't they know who I am? I'm Prof. Van Der Haagen! I'm not the kind who gets parking tickets at the damn art museum! All I can say is that I better get at least 3 free gins before I drive home!"
As I was saying, he has such a flair for words. He expresses the shy vulnerability of a passionate artist exposing his soul to the world to judge him, saying "Here I am! This is what I am! Look upon it and be not afraid!"
He walks into the room and belts out to the board "Here I am, dammit! Where the hell's the booze!" We all immediately fawn over him. I rush to get the glass and ice for the 50 year aged Strathisla, while Perkins rushes to pull out his chair for him. Somehow we both met in the middle, causing the chair, scotch, and ice to fall to the floor. "What the hell are you idiots doing?" Perkins and I both weep tears of blood and I pour the scotch for him to try and appease the mighty art critic. "Give me more, dammit! I've got to drive home with a parking ticket looming over my head!" I fill the entire glass and watch him drain it in a second. Critiquing art is obviously thirsty work. Especially at 10 in the morning. "Give me another you whelp! I'm Prof. Van Der Haagen!" I oblige, muttering "Of course, sir, of course."
The board convenes and reads their minutes from the last meeting.
The art critic falls asleep, no doubt as a result of taxing his brain upon the meaning of the latest masterpiece we are trying to acquire.
I gently prod him: "Huh? Wha? Oh, it's you, Dingleberry, are they finally about to ask me something?" "Er, it's Dinglebee, sir, and they are about to ask you for your opinion on the latest piece." "Very well. Pour me another full glass of the miraculous liquid and I shall be ready." I give it to him, and he drains it again in a half second. The chair asks the wonderful art critic of his opinon on the latest piece: "Our dear esteemed colleague, Prof. Van Der Haagen, we are questioning this latest piece by the artist Peter Stein. It's called 'Sticks and Stones May Break my Bones, but Chains and Whips Excite Me.' I hear that you are something of an authority on this piece? If so, we, the humble board of this lowly art museum wish to hear your views on this piece, your grace."
"Well, to be quite frank, it deals with the struggles of women and how they enjoy being subjected to humiliation and domination. Obviously the chains are holding down the women in this piece because they are tempermental creatures who do not know how to control their lust and thus must be disciplined by the oiled, muscular slave men brandishing the whips. It's the pure primal instinct that Stein captures in this piece, as much as it captures the twinkle in my eye! Without a doubt, gentlemen, this is the finest piece of art I have ever seen with my own eye!"
"Oh, Bravo! Bravo!" We all cry. This is truly the master in his prime interpreting the complex meanings and subtleties of such a seemingly garish and trashy piece. However, the killjoy, Keinter speaks up, usually out of turn and out of place: "I must protest, chairman Ghent. This piece is pure filth and degrades women to pure sex toys who enjoy being humiliated. I won't have this piece of trash be bought by our patrons' money! It should remain in the adult magazines where it first was!"
We all sigh. I cannot help but weep mercilessly. Keinter is too young and hot blooded and unrefined to understand the difference between unconcievably high art and low art.
Chairman Ghent pauses uncomfortably, clears his throat, and continues, "Prof, we were wondering about your humble opinions on the next piece by Artur Sterling entitled "Nothing" which encompasses the circles upon white canvas?"
The marvelous professor, and we are too lucky to have him, clears his throat and begins: "Yes, gentlemen, I have several opinions on it. It is the most wonderful piece of art that I have ever seen! It's circles show that life begins and then ends and is a continuous circle! We eat, sleep, and drink. And speaking of drink, I need a refill, dammit Dinglebee (pauses as I fill his glass) there *hiccup* that's better. I feel that this masterpiece might show perhaps the very existence of our fabric!" We all are moved to tears upon these last sentences and cannot help but exclaim jubilations of "Hallelujah! JOY!" Keinter does not look too thrilled, and mutters "It looks like some moron put a wet paint can on top of a drop cloth repeatedly." Keinter may know about money, but I am afraid he has no concept of fine art, as our dear professor who is helping himself to his 4th scotch whisky. "And now," Chairman Ghent continues "I am afraid I must have to interrupt, but our patrons want something along the classical lines as well as contemporary. We were able to secure 'The Nightwatch' from the Rijksmuseum for about three months in exchange for a considerable fee and several of our classic pieces. I want to know how you feel about the piece, Prof." "It's nothing but trash! The artist who painted it was obviously going blind since he made the figures in the foreground lit up like a Christmas party and the figures in the back appear to fade away in the darkness! And the costumes that they're in are so silly! They look like they're from the 16th century or something! And for chrissake, there aren't any voluptuous sirens in there flashing their breasts for the observer!" I cannot help but feel that the professor is correct on this matter. I always felt that something was missing from this disappointing piece, and that thing was obviously a vixen showing her chest to the observer's eye. I can tell that all the fellow chairmen feel the same way about it, agreeing that they liked breasts in their classical works. Keinter, foolish as he is, can only put his face into his hands and mutter angrily. "I have never met anyone so misogynistic as you, Van Der Haagen! I am resigning from this board immediately! I am tired of this swindler coming in here and drinking all of the spirits that we have for the debuts and charging an outrageous fee for us to buy disgusting pornography and idyllic babblings of canvas from nobody's, and then refusing to recognize and secure a well-known art piece that would have drawn thousands of visitors to our museum!"
The professor reaches for the bottle of Strathisla this time, and I help lift it up for him in order to aid him downing it. My pinky accidently brushes against first finger and I believe that I felt some of his genius entering into me!
"Well, that'sh your opiniyon!" Prof. Van Der Haagen gently puts it, adding a swaggering slur to give emphasis to his words. "And if you don't like it, then sod off! Now, my fee ish normally $50,000 but I am feeling rather good today. So only $49,000 I charge for you. And you. And you. And you." Obviously the professor felt that the paintings surrounding the office owed him money as he accosted them and demanded fees. Chairman Ghent writes the check and gives it to him, and we all start clapping and hugging tears of joy. I have never felt so happy in my life, except for last week when he advised us to sell all of our Picasso's to him for a pittance. "They're no good, just look at that horrible perspective," he told us. Naturally, he was right and so we obeyed.
I watch him stagger to his car, obviously his mind being affected by studying the pieces so hard, and get in it and drive off. He smashes into my car, taking off the door and the side mirror! I am esctatic by this and swear to myself that I shall never get my car fixed, and that the dent will remind me of the day that Prof. Van Der Haagen saw fit to try kinetic neo-destructionist art with cars with mine being the first!
I merely sigh and can only imagine the sheer genius that he will show at the pieces' debut!
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