Friday, April 6, 2007

Art snobs and indie slobs

I spent part of my evening at the Mark Mothersbaugh exhibit at Bambi Gallery in Philadelphia's Fish Town, which was founded by giant salt water carp around the turn of the previous century. As I suspected, the place was filled with indie hipsters adorned with the usual scarves, tight (black) pants, hoodies under jackets or vests, thick- rimmed glasses, Keds or Vans or whatever rubbish footwear is popular, etc. A bit more to my surprise, but which should not have been unexpected, was the art crowd, who flock to galleries like roaches to a half-eaten cupcake. You could tell them apart because, unlike the hipsters, their clothes had been washed within the past month, and they had jewelry, gaudy and shiny and the kind that costs money, not to mention multi-thousand dollar handbags. I disliked everyone there, except the few cute girls who were invariably hanging on some scraggled degenerate.

While I enjoy art, I'm not a big fan of galleries. I go, I look at the art, I pause, I look at it again. Now what? While I would have loved to purchase the third of five "Bob #1 Sheds a Tear For Albino Tar Baby" picture for $450 (price includes ugly frame), I can afford to enjoy no such luxury, and if I did have that kind of cash to spend on pop art I would have probably rented a yacht and crashed into Cuban refugee rafts heading towards Florida. I hear the Miami area is lovely this time of year; the mosquitos are not quite yet large enough to saddle and ride around like flying ponies.

Most people go to these things with friends, but I do not have any, having bludgeoned my last friend with a bag of old shoes I was planning to discard. People were also drinking, and this is the second time this year I've been to an art gallery where Pabst Blue Ribbon was being served as if it was something worth consuming. The fact that people paid to ingest it was testament to their worthlessness on this planet.

As for the art itself, I enjoyed its strangeness, and it was well worth the half hour I spent looking at it. Mark Mothersbaugh seems to enjoy drawing pictures of vaginas and deformed people; I particularly appreciated the giant log ramming itself into a woman, conveniently spread eagle, while her friend watched with a look of horror. The colors were much more vivid in person than on his website, and as such the power and strength of Motherbaugh's dynamic work spoke to me very loudly, although not loud enough to be heard over the cattle in the room.

I snagged myself a set of four pinback buttons limited to a production of 300, which came in a personally designed package. My favorite part of the package is the soaring vagina rockets with eyeballs in them. Aside from seeing the work live, this might have been the highlight of my evening.

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