Art galleries are fucking scary, man.
How long is an appropriate amount of time to look at this Rothko. Am I supposed to know who Rothko is. If I tilt my head will I understand it. Is this a fire-extinguisher or an art installation. Is this man crying because he’s moved or because he just found out his guinea pig has breast cancer. Should I be crying. Why does my long black cost $9. If I pay $300 for an asymmetrical fringe will I fit in here.
Despite all this I still like art. I’d even go so far as to say I love art. And while I’m no expert, I did pass two art history modules at an esteemed English university. Not with flying colours, granted, but with colours that propelled me to a wobbly 70%. Either way, you should probably take everything I have to say about art very seriously henceforth because I probably-maybe know more about it than you. (That’s how art works, doesn’t it?)
Andy Warhol once said “making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art.” Picked that one up in a wanky art lecture. In Art-Speak this loosely translates to “fuck bitches, get money 🤑🤑🤑.”
If anybody in contemporary art at the moment is taking this sentiment and milking it for all it’s worth, it’s CB Hoyo. A self-taught artist hailing from Cuba and now living in Europe, Hoyo recreates highly sought-after and replicated pieces by ‘The Greats’. Over top of his fake Warhols, Harings and Hockneys he scrawls crude and provocative captions that call out the bullshittery of the art industry.
“If I see another person painting cartoons and calling it fine art I’ll lose my fucking shit!“, “Killing this artist will make this more expensive” and “This is not a Damien Hirst it’s just a dead butterfly,” are among my favourites.
And before you utter the inevitable and begrudged ‘I could do that‘, Hoyo has already beat you to the punchline…
How could a contemporary audience saturated in meme culture not eat this shit up?! (Yes, I just said meme culture — deal with it.) It satisfies our nostalgia for life before, well, the shit-stain of an epoch we’re living through now, and smartly counteracts that desire with ironic slandering; like slapping a growing toddler on the wrist when she reaches for her dummy.
He’s fun, he’s fresh, he’s a little bit naughty, and he’s not a pretentious art wanker. AND (bonus!!) he understands our shared anxiety associated with art galleries. That’s why all of his art (plus more) can be found on his Instagram, along with “explicit and shocking” polls intended for those who do not tick any of the following boxes; “easily offended, easily impressed, or under the age of 18.”