Tag Archives: art wank

The Gallery of Unfortunate Art: Summer sale!

‘Venus in Pink’ by Not Waving But Ironing. Pink Play-Doh, 2010. £600

With its pendulous breasts, swollen tummy and fleshy thighs, ‘Venus in Pink’ calls to mind the stone goddess figurines of the Paleolithic era; like those ancient fertility symbols, it has a resonance and universality that would seem to defy time. Was it inspired by the Willendorf Venus – the 20,000-year-old goddess icon carved from oolitic limestone tinted with red ochre, discovered in Austria in 1908? ‘Um, no,’ says Not Waving But Ironing. ‘It’s me after too many caramel Magnums.’

‘Toilet Man’ by Charlie Not Waving (age 7). Felt-tip pen on paper, 2010. £250

Not Waving But Ironing’s son and artistic heir apparent, Charlie Not Waving finally comes of age with a hurriedly executed stick drawing that playfully subverts our middle-class expectations. The typography ­ ‘What a sight!’ ­ would seem to exhort the childish imagination to new heights, but the onlooker’s hopes for a butterfly, a dolphin, or at least an army tank, are cruelly dashed by Charlie’s hastily scribbled stick man doing a gigantic poo on a toilet. We’re left with unanswered questions: why is the toilet outside, not inside? Who is the lone man and what does his mournful expression mean? Was it really worth the artist’s mother spending £9.99 on one of those poncey ‘Let’s Doodle!’ books at Waterstones? Clearly, no.

‘Please, Mummy, Will You Play “Disney Princess Spinning Wishes” With Me?’ by Not Waving But Ironing. Scribble on birthday card, 2010. £200

‘Please, Mummy, Will You Play “Disney Princess Spinning Wishes” With Me?’ is possibly Not Waving But Ironing’s most evocative work to date. ‘I wanted to visually capture the dichotomy at the heart of motherhood,’ explains the artist. ‘Namely, that the desire to nurture your child emotionally by playing an overly complicated board game with her, can co-exist with an equally powerful urge to stab yourself repeatedly in the eye with a cocktail stick.’

The artist is currently working on the illustrations for a children’s book entitled, ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, and If You Haven’t Remembered Where You Left It by the Time I Count to 10, I’m Throwing Your Ice Cream in the Bin.’

‘Two weeks At My Mother-in-law’s’ by Not Waving But Ironing. Self-portrait collage, 2010. £450

The artist declined to comment on this particular work.

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I’m looking hot, in a Playmobil kind of way

I have had most of my hair cut off. I now look like this…

… apart from the fact that my bob has added ‘treacle and caramel slices’ (not Mr Kipling ones, unfortunately) which look suspiciously orange in artificial light. If you were feeling kind, you’d describe my new look as ‘austere’. Never mind, I am taking a sort of grim pleasure in looking like a Plantagenet monarch. My new ’do is the follicular equivalent of a bracing walk across a muddy field, or a newly cleaned-out cutlery drawer, or a particularly taxing A-level Sociology paper. Vanity and frivolity, begone!
By the way, in a telling example of gender stereotypical behaviour, my son didn’t even notice I’d had a haircut, while my daughter burst into tears at the sight of me.
Now it’s time for ‘Philistine’s Corner’, my latest rant about contemporary art. I was browsing se1.co.uk for old times’ sake (used to live there), when I came across a listing for a piece of performance art by Laura Wilson, whose exhibition, ‘Horse of a Different Colour’ features ‘Quite a Stranger Aren’t You’, ‘a duet of identical rotating heaters silently moving from one side to the other in unison, almost appearing to be dancing with each other’.

‘• 5 February, 7-8.30pm: Flaming Fuse at Siobhan Davies Studios. This performance piece involves the striking and extinguishing the contents of an entire box of matches in a darkened room. The sizzle of each match is amplified and the performer illuminated before discarding the match and starting again until all the matches have been used.’

Sadly, there are only 20 tickets available, but for all those who are disappointed, I’m hosting my own installation – ‘The Quantum Marmoset Says “Boo!”’ – tomorrow, here in my kitchen. I will be opening a can of tuna and droning, ‘Your tea’s ready, kids,’ in a monotone, over and over and over, in a statement on how cooking utensils illustrate the symbiotic relationship between motherhood and thwarted ambition. Or something.

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