Tuesday, May 24, 2011

THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF DUMB DESIGN IDEAS, subchapter X

THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF DUMB DESIGN IDEAS
ACCIDENTAL CONTENT
Shown above is another of the recently discovered "lost" paintings of Jan Van Assaerts. This daub contains a dreadful error. Sometimes an artist accidentally paints something that looks like a little face or a fish perhaps, and when you see it, the picture is ruined for you. You can never look at the painting without seeing that accidental "thing" in there. Artists take a lot of care to avoid those little gremlins.

Van Assaert accidentally included a half naked Hula Dancer. His wife was, by this time, a large pink gelatin, weighing as much as a tiled parlor stove, and he may have seen a Hula dancer from the far off Dutch colonies in the Polynesian islands or an engraving of the dance in a contemporary men's magazine. He certainly expressed his own subconscious yearnings in a way that seems as fresh today as when it was painted so long ago.

So don't let this happen to you! Before a painting goes to a show, or gallery, sit down in front of it and look carefully to make sure there are no little faces, pixies or frogs legs in there.

Dirk and his wife moved from the one room hovel on the canal to a larger home in the village. With his rapidly growing family Dirk knew he would have to find more income. Studying on the weekends, Dirk worked hard and in less than two years earned his masters degree.

Dirk still needed more money for his family, so he approached an artists career counselor. She was a little scary, frankly, she was mostly just bones and a few strands of oily ligament, her grey hair was pulled severely back on what must have been her head. Dressed in a shapeless, slubby raw linen bag the color of mildewed oatmeal, with broomstick pleats and a shirred round neck, she was feeding on a small salad. She had on wooden earrings the size and shape of Doritos. Like an enormous lizard she hissed through her thin lips and triple chins that artists make a living by getting grants. Then she looked disdainfully at him over the top of her rusting iron glasses as she ate another handful of organic vitamins for her numerous allergies. She waved him impatiently out of her damp office.

Dirk needed to apply for a grant from the Assembly of Compliance or one of the numerous Peoples Art Assistance bureaus. Training generations of children to be artists meant that upwards of 60% of the adult population were now artists. In order for that to work, a society had to provide lots of grant money and other stipends. Dirk knew that with Access to Creativity legislation recently signed into law, he stood a good chance of becoming an approved artist, particularly with that new degree! Unseen workers somewhere stood ready to pay, he had a right to make it as an artist!

35 comments:

digitect said...

Hula dancer? I'll I see is a little dancing penguin just to the left of the right tree trunk. And a red dollar symbol at the left margin above the tree branch. Maybe a fox head peaking between the two right-most tree branches?

Pat Jeffers, Artist said...

Oh no, I got the hula dancer before I even read the post. It pops out, that is "she" pops out at you. But thanks, digitect, I wouldn't have seen the little penguin and it's cute!

circa said...

Hidden Hula girls and "large pink gelatin!!" I nearly snarfed my tea! Thank you -- your Encyclopedia is Carlson's Landscape Painting Guide made hilarious!

Sorcerer said...

Lol..@ Hula dancer.

Yeah..you are right..
I just got started on painting.
Pencil sketching was my fave
Thank you for the tips and this is the best way to explain the details so as people wont forget!

Paul Bachem said...

What's wrong with naked half naked hula dancers?

Simone said...

What makes you think the hula dancer was included accidentally. Maybe Dirk was painting from the front seat of his horse drawn carriage and maybe he had a hula dancer mounted on the dashboard. Maybe he was inspired and imbeded it in the painting intentionally. Maybe that's where Dali got his idea for his disappearing bust of Voltaire. Bet you didn't think about that, did ya?

Steve said...

That's a mighty cute teddy bear on the far right side, just below the horizon line. Can't be sure, but it seems to be whispering "Aloha," though it's in Dutch...OK, maybe Frisian.

Paul Birnbaum said...

Another example of not being able to see the forest for the hula dancer. I think I also make out a resting dog or cat in front of her right foot and even a 3/4 head all the way on the left at the horizon. I get the point of the lesson, and it's a good one, but i think this was all intentional - like the popular face/vase illusion that may have become popular at the time.

stermyn said...

Perhaps this tutorial was inspired by comment made during late day critique, day two Lyme workshop?

Kevin Beck said...

I know some abstract painters who live to have this happen in their work. Especially visible after a bottle of tequila. I occasionally save a painting that I feel was a break-through or a mile marker in my journey. I have a New Mexico landscape that I painted on location about 13 years ago. About a week ago looking at it hanging in my studio I discovered that the central mountain has morphed into a rat with its neck stretched across the mesa. Not a beak but definitely a rat with a little adobe as its nose. 13 years of hanging on the wall and now all I see is the RAT. Life goes on.

Susan Roux said...

I wouldn't say the hula dancer was a total accident. Perhaps it began as one, but by the detail, I think he chose to make it the focal point. I say this because the legs go to nothing and would not be accidental. I think he had a sense of humor and decided to "hide" his subject for others to find. And you're absolutely right. Once you see it, you cannot "not" see it. Bad painting, good chuckle.

Joe Kanyoko said...

hahahaha did you just call his wife a large pink gelatin. That's hilarious man.

barbara b. land of boz said...

I know Stape, it's a tough job but someone has to do it. I can't wait for the next installment. It's like I'm that little kid again at the Sat. matinee waitng for the new episode on the edge of my seat.
thank you Sir.

DIANE TASSELMYER said...

I know the last sentence was a joke "unseen workers somewhere stood ready to pay", but it should be "unseen workers somewhere were jerked around to pay"

This "dumb design ideas" is wonderful. very refreshing from the typical writings on design!!!

Todd Bonita said...

Hilarious!

willek said...

In the shadows, between the trees, there is also a reclining woman. Her littlish head is on the right and her knees raised to the left. Very subtle

MCGuilmet said...

It took me a little while to notice the hula dancer because I was distracted by the baby lamb sitting in the bottom of the negative space in the upper left corner . I kept wondering "why did Stape paint that lambs butt kissing the frame?" While pondering that question, I suddenly noticed the racoon sitting on the ground directly underneath the baby lamb, and followed the racoon's gaze and then did I see that fabulous hula dancer. Then of course the lamb made sense!

MCGuilmet said...

sorry, I forgot Stape didn't paint this! ...I meant that couch hurts ass guy.... D Van Assearts...think this was one of his.

Stapleton Kearns said...

digitect;
You missed the llama.
..............Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

Pat Jeffers;
I am glad YOU saw it.
...................Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

circa ;
There is just no telling what I might say.
................Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

Sorcerer;
Thanks, don't shoot!
.............Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

Paul Bachem;
Nothing, I like em fine.
.................Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

Simone;
That's is an interesting theory.
.............Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

Steve;
Whatever Dutch people speak, who knows?
................Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

Paul Birnbaum;
The vase-face illusion wasn't invented until the 1870's by Donald Hollander.
..................Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

stermyn';
No, it was in the works before then.
................Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

Kevin Beck;
Now I am going to worry about little penguins in my art.
.............Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

Susan Roux;
There is no way of actually knowing the artists intent.
................Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

Joe Kanyoko ;
Yes I did, and thank you. I thought it was descriptive.
..............Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

barbara b. land of boz,
It is coming, I am doing all of the scholarship for the next one.
.................Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

DIANE TASSELMYER;
They will pay, and like it too!
.................Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

Todd Bonita;
Thanks Todd. Hope you are doing well out there.
...................Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

MCGuilmet;
The lamb is a universal symbol for something, I forget what.
...................Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

MCGuilmet;
There have been some nagging questions concerning authorship of the works of the Nevelson master.
.................Stape