Letter to an Abstract Expressionist

Dear Abstract Expressionist(s),

I’m writing to you because I’m afraid you’ve lost your way and are in desperate need of guidance. After spending the weekend attempting to interpret the best of your best at the Museum of Modern Art, I noticed some artistic shortcomings and noted some ways you can avoid these in the future. Together, we can get through this.

Before we begin, your techniques are top notch. Your color work. Your brush strokes. Your texture. Whatever other painting and art jargon… all great, but—and this is a big butt… like a Venus of Willendorf butt—you should really face facts fast and know that you have some serious imperfections to perfect.

I know that aesthetic apathy is kinda your thing, but maybe consider applying this concept a little more loosely going forward. Next time, instead of depicting a tree as a blob or a smear or a skid mark composed of four different shades of green and three differing yet similar hues of brown, paint a discernible trunk. With recognizable branches extending up and out. And life-like leaves budded atop those branches.

And if you’re painting a sailboat fraught amid a roiling seascape, perhaps go with an identifiable port and bow and a-galed sail. Add a panicked yet steadfast sailor. Paint the waves hyper-realistic while you’re at it. I think what I’m trying to say is that instead of making us feel something, make us see something.

For example, the human form… everyone loves to look at people. But don’t just slap or splatter or drip some skin tones atop a contrasting backdrop. Take a different approach. Make those people anatomically correct. And then make those people naked. And if those naked people are photorealistic, all the better. It’s my understanding that pornography is rather popular, so this will arouse both the value and viewership of your art. Then maybe more people will recognize the merit of abstract expressionism. Maybe they’ll finally see what I see. Maybe they’ll—like I once did—fall fast and hard and in love with any and everything about abstract expressionism.

I’m not saying these sizably small criticisms to cramp your very indistinct style, I’m simply trying to help. You can still paint like Pollock, but maybe make it more like Pollock painting like Picasso if Picasso painted like Monet painting like Gustave Courbet.

I’m only trying to help. Again, because I love you and all that you do soooo much, I want others to recognize your inimitable talent also. So, I think if you follow my advice and make your abstract expressionist art a little bit less… abstract expressionist, you’ll be better off. And you’ll work wonders on the impression you and abstract expressionism leaves on your audience.


A concerned patron of the arts

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