Is It Art? I Decide!

This is an occasional column from one of the authors of The Underminer: or, The Best Friend Who Casually Destroys Your Life. That's right, a book! Weren't you working on one of those? Whatever happened with that?

Hi! Hey! Weird, YOU are at Bottino!? No, no, I'm so glad to run into you here! Hold on...I'm talking to one of my studio assistants.

...and after that, you need to tie together five yachts and suspend them over a children's hospital bathed in squid ink...yes. OK. Bye.

How funny that you are here. I didn't know you liked to come to Bottino, the social center of the West Chelsea gallery scene! Well I'll take it as a sign the art season is in full swing and everyone's coming to see what we creatives have been up to.

I'm so glad I was up here in the sort of public front section and not at my table in the back because I would have missed you.

Hm? Oh I'm here with my close close close friends Matthew Marks and Perry Rubenstein and Leo Castelli. We are just having a strategy sesh about my work and also celebrating our close close close friend Roberta's masterful piece in the Times about the whole Mass MOCA scandal, which I am not sure you read because I know you don't really follow— You did? Oh, no sure sure sure. Sorry I didn't mean to make it sound like you were clueless or anything! Ha!

I mean, can you BELIEVE Mass MOCA!? How DARE they cut the funding of my most brilliant colleague, Christophe Buchel, when he went over his 160,000 dollar budget, two times over, and delayed the opening of his work by months with his strange requirements? So what if he demanded near impossible things like a fuselage of a 737, a two-story Cape Cod cottage, a leaflet-bomb carousel, an old bar from a tavern, and a vintage movie theater? He is an artist, and has no choice but to follow his vision. How do they expect an artist to CREATE in that kind of environment!? We really live in an oppressive time. It's like Entartete Kunst all over again. Deplorable.

People like Buchel and I are ARTISTS! And we ARTISTS are allowed to do whatever we want because we make ART! Watch.

Hello? Sir? Yes, you there. What do you do? Oh, you're a high school teacher. Commendable. Well, I'm an ARTIST. Now get on your knees and drink my saliva.

See? I make ART.

Who can deny the power of Buchel's dirty, trash-laden historical dioramas? I look at the way he dumps crumbled cinderblock and dry wall into a pile and I just WEEP at the authenticity. And that authenticity takes money and time and creative freedom!

If they wanted something cheap, they should have just gone down to New Orleans and scrounged some poor folk artist's oil paintings out of the trash. Or simply exhibited pictures of The Ninth Ward or Baghdad or the Minneapolis Bridge disaster, which, I have to say, are sort of GOOD as art pieces, but don't quite capture the pain and anguish of the human soul as well as a Buchel diorama.

Which reminds me! I am so excited for my next project! I am working with Bridges.

The Getty has cleared funding for Damien and I to encrust the Golden Gate Bridge with diamonds. Just as soon as I finish this large piece for the Tate Modern.

Can you hold on one second? I have to talk to my assistant again.

What do you mean you are tired and need to see your family? I don't give a crap! I need a plum tree, four yaks, a pair authentic Mork and Mindy suspenders, and five butthairs off of Lisa Rinna's anus, freshly plucked. NOW.

Anyway I am just so grateful that my good good good friend Roberta finally gave a voice to those of us artists, nay, visionaries, who feel penned in by stupid, thoughtless institutions that only supply 12 assistants and 500,000 dollars for us to realize our art.

We are fighting, and will continue to fight the good fight for expression and artistic freedom for any and all artists. Well, I mean, the artists who go to Art Basel. Not like other ones who don't have careers. Well you know what I mean.

Oh! Sorry, I have to go, they're serving our octopus vinaigrettes.

Ciao!