Modern Art? You Don’t Understand It?

I do, and I can’t stand it.

So, friends,
I have composed a book for your amusement, for your understanding, a book to tell the truth on those who lied to you,

MODERN ART: A Critique in Rhyme


Modern Art You Dont Understand It
William Girard (1940 – 2011); Avant-Garde March, 2000

Here, examined: the lives of the knuckle-headed artists, their splattered pictures, crooked statues, bumbled books, collapsing buildings, and other dumb stuff celebrated by curators, critics, carnival bakers, and clownish professors.

Come!  Buy.  Enjoy this romp in rhyme, this tour of artsy Modern Art, that century-old old-fashioned “New”; the anti-establishment, Establishment.  Come!  Laugh at those who look down their over-long noses at you, my good friends.

Learn!  Use.  The verses of Modern Art are intended to be employed alike a rusty-nailed-fencepost in the hands of a bully by which you may beat pretentious modernists about the head, repeatedly.  The author leaves out no cheap trick of meter or of rhyme to drive home his point.  He employs adolescent sing-song, doggerel, slanting rhyme; in short, every mischief making device that he can borrow or invent is used in a manner that would shame lesser poets; yes, he stoops to conquer.  In fact, conquest is his aim; his tactic, wit; his weapons, mudslinging, ridicule, name calling, and other dirty tricks of antique pedigree. 

Pause! Caution. Verbal slaughter is not for the faint of ear, the author warns.  If the song of a stout Picasso disemboweled is not to your liking, leave off the reading.  If, on the other hand, you are cheered to hear of your enemies bobbing heads pitted upon pikes, read on.  We are here at war; ideas are at issue; death is the price; civilization, the prize.  Gird up thy loins fellow warrior and read on.    

Hear! Now. In brief, below, some few verses in excerpt.  At bottom, a link to purchase; a potential to add to your library, joy; to add to your opinion, just cause; to add to your knowledge, wisdom, from a humble doubter and inquirer who discovered that there is no Art in modern art.

Free from me to you, three easy verses in excerpt:

Modern Art You Dont Understand It, Girard
William Girard (1940 – 2011); Avant-Garde March (detail), 2000

Birds by Brancusi

Few things are more snoozy than birds by Brancusi
except for his other whatsies and whosies.
The mish-mash of this and that stone and bright bronze
and other rough stuff that he would pile upon
the plates of the critics and the connoisseurs
who ate with delight this stuff from the sewers
and fed us the masses his smelly caprices
then bid we enjoy the great masterpieces
because they were polished for hours and hours,
because they are now worth millions of dollars,
and also because the critics are oozy —
but certainly not because they are choosy;
the musey-museums are all very fond
as they were by the blather easily conned:
Now, as for myself, I’d rather we’d lose all the
whatsies and whosies and birds by Brancusi.

*   *   *

Song to Saint Cecilia Jones

One by one, come beat the drum
Till millions, on millions, on millions come!
Boom. Boom! BOOM! We’ll shake the room
And beat the drum till the walls fall in,
And the ceiling comes down,
And none of the pieces can be found!
So, boom. Boom! BOOM! Come beat the drum!

We’ll break the floors with angry feet,
Clap our hands, holler and scream,
Wiggle our tongues, let out a yell:
Ah-lay-lu, Ah-lay-lu, Ah-lay-lu-YA!
Across the mountains and over the plains
From sea to sea on Cecilia’s Day!

 So Sing to Saint Cecilia Jones,
Shinny your muscles and rustle your bones,
Chirp with the crickets, peep with the birds,
Hop on one foot with the buffalo herds,
Bounce on your butt, roll with worms,
Kiss ‘yer neighbor, exchange her germs!
Now everyone, both young and old,
Shake, rattle, and roll with Cecilia Jones!

*   *   *

Pablo Picasso  1881 – 1973

Pee ca so so ca pee
O pee so ca so pee
so pee ca so pee O
pee so so ca so pee
ca so pee so pee so
O ca so pee ca so.

*   *   *

Modern Art You Don't Understand It
Modern Art: A Critique in Rhyme, by Michael Curtis



Does anyone care that modernism failed?  Probably not.  And yet, for your emolument, a book that batters artists who soon shall not matter.  So, does anyone care?  Dry-dusty art historians, perhaps; crinkly, aged Liberals, likely; young Progressives, unlikely, never has there been in this nation a more mind-vacant, brain-vacuous generation than the current herd of Ivy-Leagued, public-schooled progressives.  The rest of us; well, we have better things to do: earn a living, practice virtue, seek the Good.  Yet, I suppose the book serves for a laugh:

the fada
of Dada.

No, you shouldn’t care who Dada’s fader was.  Why would you, why would anyone muddle memory with useless stuff of last-century, old-fashioned ephemera.  And yet, the rhymes tickle the tongueThe book is fun, if you ignore the dates and didactic details.  The pictures are good, too.  In my opinion, the book would have been better with more pictures; even so, there is space on pages to draw your own pictures, pictures likely to exceed the modern artists’ artistry.  Should you choose to doodle pages in commentary aesthetic or poetic, I shall be most interested to learn of your intellectual achievements, of your artistic creations, of your curious marginalia.

Oh yes.  Another fine quality of the book, Modern Art: A Critique in Rhyme: few words.  Its pithy.


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Frontispiece: Papal Basilica Santa Maria Maggiore, “The Dormition of the Virgin Mary” mosaic, 432 – 440 Anno Domini (borrowed)


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