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Archive for October, 2009

#129 Banksy

banksy-rat-nyc-2-425x318Keeping up with art is hard; trips to galleries, enormous books, and costly bi-annual magazines are just a few of the many expenses you will incur during the process of attempting to stay current with art. While the challenge and difficult of this proposition would seem to actually attract more white people than dissuade them, the amount of work required to become and remain an expert on art is simply too much for the majority of white people.

Of course there are exceptions such as the people who have invested both their money and their lives into the appreciation of art: people with Art History Degrees. But as you have probably noticed, they have very little value to both you and society. The latter is evidenced by their annual salary while the former is to be determined on a person by person basis.

Currently, the artist who is both cutting edge and easy to keep up with is Banksy, and white people love him. He is anonymous, British, easy to understand, and he works in the medium of graffiti! This last bit is very important since all white people consider graffiti to be art when it looks like something other than a bunch of squiggles. In every other instance, they consider it vandalism.

As with any conversation involving white people and taste you should be forewarned that you are walking into a potential minefield. However, art does not work the same way as Indie Music when it comes to the need to like the obscure.

Here’s how it works: if you say your favorite artist is Vincent Van Gogh, MC Escher or Monet, you will appear as though your taste in art is derived entirely from college posters. This is unacceptable. Conversely, if you list Jeff Koons, Laurie Anderson, Damien Hirst or Basquiat, you’ll look like you are trying too hard but don’t really know what you are talking about. Chances are that white people will assume your art education consists entirely of documentaries, bio pics, and looking up references from Gossip Girl on Wikipedia.

Finally, if you list your favorite artist as a current, bleeding edge visionary who white people have not heard of, they will immediately recognize you as a threat and dislike you.  It is also a certainty that they will call you pretentious behind your back.

Needless to say, it’s complicated. But Banksy is just right. He’s just edgy enough to be outside of the mainstream, but popular enough to be available in coffee table book form at Urban Outfitters. Though if you spot this book on the coffee table of a white person it is strongly recommended that you imply they got the book at a Modern Art Museum gift shop and not at an Urban Outfitters. This will make the evening far more enjoyable for everyone concerned.

If you find all of this to simply be too much work and wish to ensure that white people will never speak to you about art again, there is an easy escape. Simply mention your favorite artist is Thomas Kinkade and that you are in negotiations to purchase an original from the store in the mall. This will effectively end any friendship you have with a white person.

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