Lies Artists Tell

Lies Artists Tell

“I hate selling my paintings. I’m so attached to them.” The reality is, if you painted it once, you can easily paint it again, unless it’s some 16-foot canvas piece with ornate detailing. If so, why are you wasting your time on that shit other than to make huge bank?

“This piece was inspired by a dream.” Once an artist at an art fair cornered my mom and started detailing the symbols in his dream that went into a small sketch of a meaningful bird or something. I asked him what pen he used, and after I told him I had gotten some of those pens for free just by emailing the company, he became a completely different person. The crazy Freudian was gone and he was 100% fancy pen whore. This isn’t to say that no art is inspired by dreams, just that artists tend to ratchet that factor up when talking to baby boomers with checkbooks.

“I’m trying to deconstruct _____.” They teach you to say this in college. People who are actually into “deconstructing” things have deconstructed the deconstruction-centered artist statement and found it to be related mostly to vague, faux-deep douchebags.

“I’m inspired by the human body.” This means, “I like looking at naked people.”

“I was raised to be creative all the time, to notice the beautiful things in nature and think outside the box.” We were all raised on microwaved hot dogs and Disney movies while occasionally being encouraged to fingerpaint. That doesn’t necessarily create an artist. This is just an attempt to make other people feel like they missed the boat on entering an exclusive lifestyle of people with above-average hand-eye coordination.

“I would get a job as a graphic designer, but I don’t want to sell my soul to corporate America.” This means, “I don’t know what ‘vector’ means and I tend to get let go after my internships for being an arrogant prick.”

“This 5×7 print is 250 dollars. By buying it, you support my lifestyle and art in general.” No print should cost 250 dollars unless it’s by someone actually famous, like … I can’t think of any artists that sell 5×7 prints for 250 dollars because that’s a stupid way to get famous. What this artist really means is “I feel entitled to never get a real job like the rest of the population, so I’m going to guilt people into way overpaying for a non-original piece hoping it’ll inspire their illusion of the artist lifestyle.”

Becky Lang