Special Saturday Morning “Feel Bad About Yourself!” Edition

January 14, 2012


British artist David Hockney has an exhibition happening at London’s Royal Academy that features pieces he did on his iPad.  His iPad.  You know, that thing that you’ve seen people with, and they’re playing Zombie Cafe or downloading Dirty Dancing?  Yeah, he made paintings that are being publicly displayed at a place that includes the words “Academy” and “Royal” in its name.

"Display it!" "But Mr. Hockney it's not very--" "I said display it!"

“Well,” you say, with perhaps a little more attitude than is necessary, since, come on, I’m just the messenger, “He’s an established and respected artist.  So he dabbles in drawings on an iPad and it gets shown.  Steve Martin could send The New Yorker his grocery list and they’d probably publish it in ‘Shouts & Murmurs.’  Maybe it’s some simplistic piece of crap that looks like it was cranked out on an Etch-A-Sketch!”

Okay, for starters, what did Steve Martin ever do to you?  The guy’s an accomplished writer.  But secondly, here’s a piece Hockney did in 2009 called Winter Timber:

Now here’s part of a piece called The Arrival of Spring in Woldgate, East Yorkshire that he did on his iPad:

Apparently the title "Oooh, look at me everyone! I'm more talented than you!" didn't pop for him.


Here’s another frame of that Arrival in Spring that – in case you missed this part – he did on his iPad:

Sigh.  It’s impressive and lovely and now I feel awful about myself.  Thanks a lot, David Hockney.

Still feeling good about yourself?  Do a quick Google Images search for “Etch a Sketch Art.”  That ought to do the trick!

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About The Byronic Man

Recently voted "The Best Humor Site in America That I, Personally, Write," The Byronic Man is sometimes fiction, but sometimes autobiography. And sometimes cultural criticism. Oh, and occasionally reviews. Okay, it's all those different things, but always humorous. Except on the occasions that it's not. Ah, geez. Look, it's a lot of things, okay? You might like it, is the point.

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24 Comments on “Special Saturday Morning “Feel Bad About Yourself!” Edition”

  1. A Broad at Home Says:

    Child’s play, really. If you think that’s impressive, you should see my macaroni art.


  2. BrainRants Says:

    And here I thought I rocked my Etch-a-Sketch as a kid. I do feel like a failure.


  3. Walter Says:

    Well now I feel really shitty. First of all I’m quite angry with Steve Martin these days because he isn’t funny anymore and I just don’t understand why. Oh life got you down Steve? Your ENORMOUS collection of art bumming you out? Getting old? Sorry…I got lost. Why do I feel especially shitty now my Lord? I’ll tell ya- when old Hockney did his “polaroid” show and printed a bunch of stuff out on a color copy machine I was one of the many who had been to his studio during that time. Anyone who walked into his studio had their picture taken against one of his paintings and then the wise man printed the portraits out in sections. Voila! An international show! I know he’s laughing all the way to his Malibu pad. Anyway, that show has the names of all the people who had their portraits done. ALL BUT MINE. Oh sure, sure it’s nice to see my young bod in a fancy museum…”subject unknown.” Booo! Sigh. I feel better now. Thank you.


    • The Byronic Man Says:

      I don’t necessarily feel angry at Steve Martin, but I would like him to explain himself, perhaps over an expensive lunch that he pays for. Martin’s novels are quite good, and it can’t be that his short on cash, so it pains me when he does these awful movies. Why does he do them?

      And that’s interesting about the Hockney/polaroid show. Sorry about the “subject unknown.” Have you tried rushing the display with a permanent marker? Stand next to it shrieking, “THAT’S ME! IT’S ME!” to everyone who walks up? That’d be my suggestion.


  4. Walter Says:

    I’m gonna hit the “like” button anyway.


  5. Jackie Cangro Says:

    Maybe it’s a new marketing technique to get people to buy iPads.
    Cause you know now I’m thinking, I really need an iPad. It will make me feel better about myself.


  6. Life in the Boomer Lane Says:

    I paint. I love art. I love artists. But I’m still grappling with what I see as a general downhill slide in a lot of areas of the visual arts. So throw rotten bananas at me. That’s how I feel.


    • The Byronic Man Says:

      We do seem to be in an odd transitional period. Everyone tried to get photo-realistic, then photos came along and it opened a whole new realm of expressionism and abstraction, but now? There’s a lot of experimentation going on – things that make you, I guess, contemplate the nature of art – but it feels more like a precursor to an era than an era itself.


  7. MJ, Nonstepmom Says:

    So maybe I stink at etch a sketch…but I bet Hockney can’t make a cupcake look like a beach or make a Philly Flyers cake complete with a mini Zamboni machine! Let’s not forget Steve Martin has 2 Grammies for banjo and a bluegrass entertainer of the year award; besides the writing and comedy…oh, bet I could do a banjo cake….


    • The Byronic Man Says:

      It’s true – Martin is immensely talented. It’s easy to forget how good his comedy was, and how good his good films are – and that’s just the area that people attack him for!


  8. gojulesgo Says:

    I was soooo skeptical, then I got to the pics, and, well…I want to buy all of them! But I would prefer them in paint. I might even accept pastel.

    P.S. – I Love. Steve Martin. Just saw a rerun of “30 Rock” that he was in. Holy. Schmokes. My face still hurts from laughing.


  9. thesinglecell Says:

    I bet there’s an app for that. The “Paint Like An Artist” app. It does everything for you. I bet. Big cheater.


  10. Rocket Says:

    I remember when I first learned how to draw a curve on the Etch-a-Sketch. I thought it was a miracle from heaven.

    I guess even if I feel like a failure after that, I can always shake the etch-a-sketch and pretend it’s a maraca of some sort. Ha 🙂


  11. She's a Maineiac Says:

    Eh. It’s okay. I suppose. Sigh. (this coming from someone that couldn’t even draw a stick-figure if her life depended on it)

    In other news: I must get me one of dem new-fangled iPads!


  12. Deborah the Closet Monster Says:

    I cannot believe that Etch-A-Sketch art. I can barely draw a box on those things!


  13. madtante Says:

    Good Lord! Those are amazing. What dicks.


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