Don’t Be Afraid, It’s Only Art

The Living Statue Lives
The artwork gracing the patio in front of the new police station will officially be dedicated May 22 from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.

The police station, known as the Art Morken Law Enforcement Building, is the first city building to receive money for public art.

Read the Sun’s story about the pieces here.


Now, I’d like to slow things down a bit and present you, dear Bremerton Beat reader, with a few helpful bits of advice for dealing with creative artistic types. You’ve probably been operating under the assumption that personal hygiene, respect and good manners are all that you need to make your mark among the ivory tower elites that rule America’s cultural landscape with a macramé fist. And you are incorrect.

So here it is, priceless excerpts from Andy’s Handy Dandy Guide to Manners and Mannerisms for the Artistically Disinclined.

-Attending a jazz concert, a gallery opening or experimental theater can cause some anxiety in people who make their living by producing useful things for society. First, keep in mind that artistic people are deep thinkers, very progressive. They will immediately judge you by your appearance.

So don’t forget these essential items for these high society events:

Jazz concert – a monocle

Poetry reading – a cigarette holder

Elvis Impersonator at the RV Show – an ascot.

-If you are at an art gallery and are confronted by an artist, try to make yourself as big as possible by crowding close together with your spouse/partner/siamese twin, raising your arms above your head and making grunting, rooting noises. Don’t look them directly in the eye, as artists can become aggressive when confronted by sincerity. If asked an open ended question while viewing a painting, respond only in these two approved ways:
1) “I like it”
2) “It’s good.”

-Here’s a tip for talking about art: if you refuse to admit that you don’t get it, everyone else will think that you do get it and they will begin to question their own intelligence. The trick is to admit nothing. Suspicious? Think this will never work? OK, smart guy, answer me this: why do you think “No Country For Old Men” won Best Picture?

-Often gallery openings serve free wine. They do this so other artists will show up. Don’t be afraid to overindulge.

You’re saying: OK, Andy, you’ve given me these tips, but what about on the ground, in real time, when the rubber meets the road, what do I do then, huh? What do I do when an amateur novelist is bashing the corporate media and I’m afraid the living statue in the corner is actually a homicidal statue?

First, don’t panic. Artistic types can smell fear (through the patchouli haze).

Second, here is another excerpt from my book, that you really need to think about buying. It’s only $25.

Here’s the scenario:

You’re standing in an art space watching a grown man pour chocolate pudding on his head while he recites the Crispy Critters cereal jingle with a heavy Austrian accent.
Do you say:

1) You know, my friends and I do this all the time. I never knew we were artists.

2) By drowning his fears of a strong paternal figure with the dark, creamy substance of denial, the artist bridges the juxtaposition of verisimilitude and conjecture by arousing the fleeting and facile spiritual infrastructure that bogs down existence with the saturated fat of ennui.

3) Pour it on! Yeah! That’s right! That’s what daddy likes! Shake it over here and I’ll put a Lincoln in your leotard!

4) So, uh, what happens to the pudding when he’s done? You’re not just going to throw it away, are you?

The correct answer is: none of the above. Remember, we went over how to talk about art, and the secret is to not talk about it. Try to appear aloof and slightly drugged.

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