ART KIDS: Surrealists and Steve Martin (new band name?)

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I have recently been facing the problem of my friends talking about BBC award winning shows that I have never seen in my life, nor do I plan to watch. No matter how much they pitch this period piece drama or how hard I try to finish three episodes, it is just not going to happen.

I exclusively watch either trash teenage dramas like “Gossip Girl” or comedy shows like “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” – this is my dirty secret (no, my life is not exciting). Nothing else sticks – I attribute this to the fact that I do not have a lot of time to watch TV and when some free time does roll around, I use it as a break from hard-thinking. That hour is my solace to laugh at a Dwight joke or roll my eyes at a Jenny Humphrey outfit.

Photo courtesy of Scott Lynch on Creative Commons

I have come to realize that a lot of people think all art is like an HBO documentary series on the Great Depression, so when Saturday comes around they opt to avoid their local gallery. And while no good art will allow you to simply shut off your brain, lots of art wants to feel relatable and make you laugh.

The collaborative work of Canadians artists, Michael DuMontier and Neil Farber, had me giggling for a good week and a half. Their inspirations include Surrealists and Steve Martin, a killer combo, and they have created multiple series including one appropriately coined, “Animals with Sharpies.” My personal favorite is called “Library,” a continuing series of thousands of small book covers done in acrylic paints that are often aptly arranged in one large collection.

There is not a whole lot to discuss of its style or paint application, and therein lies its beauty. We are given the opportunity to simply enjoy the ingenious and carefully curated cover phrases. Each painting a new book with a new cover title, occasionally paired with a small image and with thousands to browse online – this simple series will never be boring due to its surprisingly dark humor.

Here are a few of my favorites:

“I’m sorry this is a Private Apocalypse, You will have to LEAVE”

“I’ll go with you to happy hour if you go with me to sad hour”

“There is only one person for you. Good luck.”

“Teenage boys are the worst”

“A boring day of my life in fine detail”

“How to tell really personal things to people you just met”

So whether or not you are ROFLing to the same extent as I am, the lesson to be learned is – art is often meant to be funny and no matter what your humor (whether twisted like mine) there is something out there to tickle your fancy.

The other day in class I started cracking up over a Minimalist box, so do not feel bad when you giggle in a silent museum because seriousness is so 2000 and late.

Photo courtesy of PrixSobeyAward via Twitter

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