BUT IS IT ART? // The Comedian

TATI: Tony, I believe you can be considered a professional artist, yes?

TONY: I guess I can. I might not make much money from what I do but I certainly take it seriously.

TATI: How much money have you made with your art? Do you remember the biggest amount you ever received?

TONY: I do believe it was two Scribbean melamine dollars back in 1996, which was quite a payday for a young, starving artist working out of a cardboard hovel in an inner city red light district.

TATI: Scribbean melamine dollars? Red light district?

TONY: Oh, that’s industry talk for failure. Don’t worry about it…

TATI: No, I’m curious now. I need to hear the entire story.

TONY: There’s not much to tell. I was a starving artist in a cardboard hovel.

TATI: But I see you’re still alive and even have a pretty notable belly.

TONY: Yes, I’ve managed to live off of this belly for many a year now.

TATI: Well… anyway, I wanted to ask your professional opinion. (If we can be agreed that you’re a professional artist.)

TATI: Is it art?

TONY: Oh, I’ve heard of this…

TATI: You’ve heard of this. Awesome. It means you can hear, even though you’re deaf. But it looks like you haven’t heard my question.

TONY: Is it art? Yes, I heard your question, smarty-pants! As for the banana taped to a wall… well, do you think it’s art?

TATI: Tony, don’t turn this around. I asked you first!

TONY: Well, I guess it is art. Maybe. I don’t know. I mean, someone did end up paying $120,000 for it. Real dollars by the way, not melamine ones.

TATI: Why don’t you do this then?

TONY: Stick fruit to walls?

TATI: Yep. Why spend days and weeks toiling over drawings? Why sweat over your silly comics month after agonising month? Tape bananas to walls and enjoy platinum-plated baguettes and brie for years to come!

TONY: Well, I suppose it should have been obvious the day I tripped in a food hall and my McJolly’s Super Happy Meal ended up all over that rather bland ‘Exciting New Store Coming Soon’ sign. I really should have put two and two together and started throwing all kinds of shit against vertical surfaces. I mean, instant riches right there, am I right?

TATI: I hear sarcasm in your voice when you say, “All kinds of shit.” So, you admit it isn’t art, but rather shit? Or is it just jealousy speaking that someone else made money, even from shit?

TONY: Oh, definitely jealousy. My problem is that I’m not enough of a lateral thinker to come up with a genius idea like that!

TATI: Tony, you have an amazing ability to blab endlessly and say nothing useful. Can you just answer the question, please? Is this fucking art or fucking shit?

TONY: Alright then! It’s a fucking art that someone taped fruit to a wall and duped some dude out a shitload of cash! Satisfied?

TATI: The art of manipulation? The art of fraud? The art of proving the world is sick and can’t distinguish between what is real and what is fake?

TONY: Pretty much. Kinda like when guys choose fake boobies over real boobies. Same principle.

TATI: So, it can’t be considered a real piece of art? In a good, classic ‘art is a diverse range of human activities in creating visual, auditory or performance artifacts (artworks) that express the author’s imagination, conceptual ideas, or technical skill, intended to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power’ kind of way?

TONY: That was quite a mouthful.

TATI: If you don’t have a clear opinion, my hesitating friend, then let’s ask our dear readers. I hope they can find a clearer position on this than you.

TONY: Sure! Why the hell not?

by TETIANA ALEKSINA & TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2020

66 thoughts on “BUT IS IT ART? // The Comedian

  1. A banana taped to a wall, with no context is not art to me. On the other hand, if it were cleverly placed and sent a strong message, let’s say for example it was created by a wildlife painter who taped it to a wall that was close to the habitat of a near-extinct fruit bat subspecies, therfore commenting on the contribution human selfishness (uncompostable tape) was contributing to drive extinction, then it evokes emotion and maybe I would consider that art.

    Liked by 6 people

  2. You know what? The REAL Art has been in our diatribe around the whole piece…Lol…and the irony is that our discussion will last far longer than a rotting banana held up with duct tape and soon to dissipate. We all know that duct tape doesn’t work too well when wet! Now if I could figure out how to say what I just said in six words or less, I just might be considered an Artist also…

    Liked by 4 people

  3. I once read in some book (I think it was a Dan Brown) the justificaiton for these kind of seemingly stupid, nothing special ‘works of art’ selling for millions of dollars. It gave the example of an orchestra where no one played anything for forty minutes. All the members were present there on the stage, but it was totally quiet. Zilch, zip, nada. But thousands of people attended it, it made a buttload of money and it was even critically acclaimed. Why did this happen? Isn’t it stupid to pay so much money and even appreciate forty minutes of silence? What’s so special about it? Anyone could’ve done it. Here’s where the author says, yes, anyone could’ve done it but no one else did, and this one person/group did, and that’s where the genius of that artwork lies.

    But I’m still convinced it’s bullshit. Forty minutes of silence, a banana duct-taped to a wall- these aren’t works of art. They’re just scams to loot rich condescending people who pretend they know more than you and ‘have a deeper vision and understanding of art’.

    Liked by 7 people

  4. Andy Warhol perpetrated this same sort of fraud. Why I make up my own mind about what is art. That is a deteriorating banana taped to a wall. I think it is a statement, but it ain’t art, unless it is the art of decay. The study of decomposing cadavers is comparable, but that ain’t art, either. That’s science

    Liked by 5 people

    • No, it is something. Rotting fruit. You have to wonder what the taper was trying to tell us. Like those chickens that come home to roost. Was that rotting fruit symbolic of the world, our current state situation, the ecology? Who labeled it art? Did someone really pay a hundred grand for rotting fruit without a frame in the name of art? Or was that some conspicuous consumption, showing the rest of us how to waste cash because you can? Good grief, we are a superficial lot. Gotta do better.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. concept art, in my opinion as an artist, is not art. That banana is almost as good as “Blank Canvas”, or even more controversially “Starving Dog”. Some would argue but they are making a statement, to me conceptual art is mainly done by talentless people for people with way too much money to just throw around.

    Liked by 5 people

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