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I’ve already blogged that I know very little about art.  But as with most things, lack of knowledge does not necessarily marry with lack of opinion.  I am rather opinionated about art but would like to state again I have no reason to be and I’m not encouraging anyone else to agree with me.

That’s a circle of dots that is

My very important lawyer friend “S#3” kindly invited me to the preview of an exhibition currently showing at the Royal Academy.  The exhibition is called RA NowRA Now describes itself as a ‘major exhibition and sale’, conceived to raise money for the Academy’s extension, ‘The Burlington Project’.  All great stuff.  Until I discovered that there is a distinct reason why most of the pieces on display have been donated and not held back for future major exhibitions of each individual artist, themselves.

My views on the things I saw and can remember:

Anish Kapoor

I think his piece was called ‘Untitled’.  This angered me immediately.  At least come up with a name to describe what otherwise looks like a rather large turd of cement stuck to a wall.

David Hockney

DAVID.  I blinking LOVE you. And I blinking LOVE your work too. But your i-Pad sketchy printy thing…just…just…not AT ALL reminiscent of the last time your work was so gloriously and triumphantly displayed there.

Jeff Koons

I don’t remember what his painting was, I just remember impressing S#3 by knowing who he was.  I later admitted however, this was only because Charlotte York cited his work in the Sex and the City episode where super star Wiley Ford mistakes the fire extinguisher for a piece of modern art; a hilarious gag to me for I am precisely the sort of art dunce to do exactly that.

Other pieces by artists I don’t know:

Blue Chair

S#3 and I decided this was the best piece on display.  It was a painting of a woman sitting on a blue chair next to a black cat.  The reason we decided it was good was because it invited conversation – conversation about why this piece was called ‘Blue Chair’ and not ‘Woman Sitting on a Blue Chair’.  We came to the conclusion this was because it was a feminist piece, one heralding the message that ‘WOMEN ARE INVISIBLE’ in our very sexist, masculine society.  Using words like ‘feminist’ and ‘sexist’ made us feel clever and arty and so I guess that’s why we liked the painting.

A crap shirt (not its real name)

Some white cotton cut into the shape of a shirt with some buttons sewn onto it.

A plastic model of a doll-woman

You’d get something extra from buying this piece and displaying it in your bedroom: a nightmare

An orange sculpture showing the outline of a man from one angle, and the figure of a woman on the other

This was great as you had to go round and round it, like a dog chasing its tail.  You felt decidedly dizzy afterwards and it was most enjoyable to watch other people do the same.  The ones with a glass of wine in hand were particularly interesting.

And finally…


UNGKAY was genius.  In fact, UNGKAY gave S#3 and me more pleasure than anything else in the entire exhibition.  UNGKAY, from what I can remember, is an acrylic sketch of the words ‘UNGKAY’ drawn symmetrically, probably with a ruler and a compass, printed on ‘museum board paper’ (exactly.  What?).  But why was this brilliant?  Just say the word to yourself: UNGKAY.  For S#3 and I, this became the benchmark against which all other pieces of work would be measured.

“What do you think about that average scrap of metal masquerading as a significant piece of artistry S#3?” 

“Hmm, I’d say it was…UNGKAY.” 

I mean, I’m still laughing about it now and yes that is indicative of how SNOOZE the exhibition was and not just how lame my sense of humour is.

If any of you who know about art go to see this, Id very much like to hear your thoughts on it.  For I’ve come to the irrevocable conclusion that there must be something so intensely profound about it, it’s gone over and above my very average intelligence to such a degree, I shall never find out what it is.


By Beenie Langley