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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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Weak V


30 January 2024

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No. 5,499 (cartoon)

Pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional.

Is that one of those damned insoluble Buddhagrams?

Nah; wine for the latter, whisky for the former.

31 January 2024

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A Waste of Soup

A few days ago that protesters tossed pumpkin soup at the Mona Lisa in the Louvre in Paris. That’s not true; they hurled the liquid at the bulletproof glass protecting the ol’ girl. Lisa del Giocondo appeared to be mildly amused by the passing circus she’s been watching for half a millennium.

It was just a silly publicity stunt, and not a very good one either. What sensible activist would mask the Mona Lisa as if it were a Jackson Pollock painting? The Lourve has almost a half million artworks, but not a single Pollock canvas.

Instead of throwing pumpkin soup at the painting, they should have pelted the barrier with can after can of Campbell’s Country Ladle Rich and Creamy Pumpkin Soup. The brand is forever associated with Andy Warhol, and the art protest would have been easily recognizable to the average Joëlle et Jacques.

Leonardo da Vinci and Lisa del Giocondo meet Andy Warhol; what a concept!

1 February 2024

Forty-five Million Strikeouts

I rarely follow up on this verbal dredgewater, but I’m having an exceptional day today so I’m making an exception. (I can do that; it says so right there on my artistic license.)

Last month I mentioned that a friend uploaded her new recording to a music site on the Internet that six hundred million people visit monthly. And then there was the bad news: her song was just one of a hundred and twenty thousand new tunes added that day.

Walter reported that that it’s even worse than it sounds: last year the site hosted forty-five million tracks to which no one ever listened, not even once.

I suppose the odds are similar in the visual arts and other media, but I don’t find that at all depressing. In fact, I’m comforted by the realization that hundreds of thousands (millions?) of other pretty good artists and I will never have an audience beyond our friends. Once I figured that out decades ago, I was free to concentrate on making art without the distractions of commerce or hallucinating about being “discovered.”

2 February 2024


I’m pleased to report that investigative reporting is not dead. Bianca Bosker worked at menial jobs in art galleries, museums, and artists’ studios for years to plumb the bowels of the “art” world and came up with a tragicomical book, Get the Picture. I thought it was great, but of course I’d say that given that it reinforced my negative stereotypes and confirmed my worst prejudices. I was delighted to read that the greedy, pretentious people who run the carnival are even worse and more hilarious than I imagined.

(Before getting to the juicy bits, I should point out that I haven’t actually read the book; it doesn’t go on sale until next Tuesday. I did, however, read a couple of reviews, and in 2024 that’s about the same thing as reading the book.)

Bosker discovered that International Art English is the lingua franca of the “art” establishment. Never use a two-syllable word when there’s a five-syllable synonym. As the author noted, “Artspeak is an exclusionary code where every word needs to be bigger than it should be.”

Artspeak is all about pretentious synonyms. Dealers don’t sell paintings, they “place” them. When Bosker opined that a performance art piece was boring, the curator corrected her: it was “durational.” And so on.

There’s lots more, bits that are as amusing as they are predictable. Expensive clothes and drugs. An artist’s stature will rise if s/he’s having sex with a more famous artist. Some collectors are idiots, like the guy who bought expensive pieces to “impress the girls.” And so forth.

In conclusion, I highly recommend Get the Picture, a great book I’ll probably never read.

3 February 2024

Kick Out the Jams

Wayne Kramer of MC5 died after kicking out the jams one last time.

Kick Out the Jams was one of the group’s more popular songs. I never heard “jams” cogently defined, but it didn’t matter. In my circle we know it had something to do with the antiestablishment antiwar sentiments of the late sixties, so we know kicking out the jams was certainly a wise move. (When I made The Jams (Kicked Out) three years ago, the enigmatic title was part of the piece’s appeal.)

The enigma is gone. In one of the obituaries I read, Kramer explained that “jams” was a reference to jam bands.


“Kick Out the Jams” is infinitely better than choruses of “Kick Out the Grateful Dead,” “Kick Out the Phish,” et cetera.

Kick Out the Jams will live forever, but sadly so will the jam bands. They’re the musical equivalent of herpes; they just keep popping up painfully and unexpectedly and there appears to be no cure.

4 February 2024

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I may be the only person in the world who got a haircut yesterday. “Impossible!” you say. Well, that’s what you say.

I’ve never heard of anyone getting a haircut but me. Sure, people claim they got a haircut, when in fact they had haircuts. All that snippety snippety clippity snippety? Each one is a haircut, resulting in the plural, haircuts.

So there.

I get a haircut every two or three years. It’s simply a matter of cutting the extra hair off the end of my ponytail: chop! One and done; that’s a real haircut.

I cut my hair because I needed to rid my computer of some sort of cooties or virus or some damn thing. I left the freshly cut hair on the keyboard under moonlight, and this morning it was fine. Works every time.

I documented the faux exorcism in a new piece, Haircut.

Coming next weak: more of the same.


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©2024 David Glenn Rinehart