It’s finally ArtPrize season, which means everyone is flocking to downtown Grand Rapids to walk around and pretend to be interested in art. All of your friends have suddenly become experts on sculpture and oil painting and give their unsolicited opinion of the aesthetic qualities of your above-the-cabinet liquor bottle collection and laugh at you when you can’t name a single Dali painting.
Get educated about art and stop their laughter by reading our expert’s review of some of the most sensational ArtPrize submission wannabes.*
Meet Our Guest Reviewer
C is a sophomore student at Grand Valley majoring in art. She is a vegan and eats only raw foods that are certified cruelty-free, which makes her a better person than you. She lives in downtown Grand Rapids because her boyfriend is “big in the music scene.” She can be seen on campus smoking cigarettes and sneering at passersby while waiting for the 50. With one art class under her belt, C knows art.
“I think this piece makes a controversial statement about white guilt. The pumpkin spice is, like, a symbol for everything the oppression of people of color and, like, corporate culture. It’s the new McDonalds, stripping people of their individuality. The artist really uses the brown powder against the white of the napkin to evoke the blood of the voiceless.”
Take out the F*cking Recycling
“This speaks to the American tendency to excess. So much waste is represented here; the competing colors of the various packages overstimulate the viewer and shock them into recognition of their consumerism. It’s a scathing condemnation of the evils of a society that subjugates women. The artist displayed an incredible amount of skill in placing each of the items precariously in this bin, symbolizing the unstable state of the world economy and conservation awareness.”
Basil, On a September Evening
“This watercolor really captures the soul of the basil plant as it struggles upward for sunlight, wholly indifferent to the concerns of humanity. The softness of color and light with this medium really contrast the brutality of the plant’s growth, the beautiful violence of the opening petals, and the overt sexuality of the pistils and stamens, just out of focus in a way that draws more attention to their eroticism.”
Anatomy of a Selfie
“Anatomy of a Selfie truly explores the depths of our cultural narcissism and the meaning of the self and it’s relation to the surrounding world. The ‘duck face’ is a kiss from the subject to her own image in the mirror; masturbatory and provocative. The mirror is an object of worship for the taker of the selfie; the only place where her own likeness is accessible. The hat reading ‘Save the Narwhals’ is obviously condemning our society’s inability to take issues of animal cruelty seriously.”
Now that you know a few things about art, you can go to ArtPrize with all of your “cultured” friends with confidence, giving witty, scathing impromptu critiques and scoffing at the attempts of lesser art appreciators. Or just go high. We’re just going to go high.
*No real art was harmed in the writing of this article.