BUT IS IT ART? // Chelonian Devil


TATI: Tony, again, I’m starting our discussion with the same question. Why on earth do you persist in tagging almost everything as NSFW on your personal art blog? Is it because the tortoise wears no panties? Or it has a dirty tattoo on the left buttock?

TONY: Do tortoises even have buttocks? And how do they defecate for that matter? Does a tortoise shell have a back door?

TATI: Or are you just trying to lure readers with such a cheap trick as the NSFW tag?

TONY: Naw, I just wanna be sure that people can’t complain that I didn’t warn them. Maybe I worry about that too much.

TATI: Okay, I will be a nudnik here.

TONY: What the hell is a nudnik?

TATI: Not suitable/safe for work—or NSFW—is Internet slang or a shorthand tag used in email, videos, and on interactive discussion areas (such as forums, blogs, or community websites) to mark URLs or hyperlinks that contain nudity, intense sexuality, profanity or disturbing content, which the viewer may not wish to be seen accessing in a public or formal setting such as in a workplace or school.

TONY: That pretty much sums it up.

TATI: Does this picture fall into that explanation?

TONY: I think so. Some folks could deem it a bit inappopriate ‘cos of all the blood and hurty teeth. Not everyone likes blood and hurty teeth, y’know!

TATI: That’s a laugh, Tony! Children in kindergarten draw monsters hell wouldn’t have.

TONY: This is true. And then it’s drummed out of them. They’re told to stop drawing such nonsense—which is a shame really.

TATI: Well, I don’t know if it was a good thing that your nurse didn’t take your crayon away. You could grow up and became a decent person—there’s still time. An engineer or even a manager…

TONY: Pffft! That’s boring! I’d rather be a pig mucking around in mud! At least they’re having fun!

TATI: OK… don’t worry, I’m kidding. So, what did you have on your mind when you were drawing this? How did you come up with the idea of this picture?

TONY: I realised that I have never really drawn anything horror-related before, so I wanted to give it a try to see if it was something I could do. And my art style is quite cartoony, so this was always going to be a bit of a challenge. I don’t recall how I came up with the idea though. I knew I wanted it to not have eyes. I knew that much.

TATI: It’s strange. This picture makes me wonder how this reptile attacks. It has clean belly and feet, but spattered back and snout. Does it jump, hit a victim with its shell, and land on its feet again? And noms on the victim after this?

TONY: I think you’ve missed your calling, Tati. You should’ve been a forensic scientist all along! Such technical terms! ‘Nom’ for one…

TATI: I could be. But don’t try to dance around the question, Tony!  No eyes, no nostrils… How on earth does this beast find its victims? Regarding that tortoises are pretty slow animals… I suppose they can hunt only blind-deaf-mute cripples.

TONY: I guess it’s the terrapin version of a Sigourney Weaver alien. Oh, hang on, tortoises aren’t terrapins. I should get my own terms straight! Anyway, those aliens—did you see the films? Maybe this creature is like a xenomorph and it doesn’t need eyes?

TATI: Honestly? I have another association.

TONY: Well now, isn’t that just terrific…

TATI: Shall I prove the idea that this creature is unequipped enough to be considered a monster? It just suffers from some hormonal fluxes?

TONY: Oh, sure, prove away! (This oughta be good…)

TATI: Here is your proof.

TONY: Oh, good lord… A premenstrual nightmare tortoise. Kill me, please.

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