The art scene’s full of rules and nuances that baffle most outsiders. I’ve given up attempts at explaining the etiquette of cheek kissing people I hate or why net artists have David Lynch/Kramer/Hitler Youth haircuts. Spending just a few months in art school or attending several gallery openings should give anyone enough background to understand all the underrated skills listed in I WILL PWN U. Acquiring all the skills in this series won’t make you an expert at art scene hustling, but at the very least you’ll deserve a 4 Square badge.

For updates to the list of skills featured in I WILL PWN U, visit Here is a Fantasy on Twitter.

Art scene skill #3: Naming more than 3 “Johns” in the arts. #cage #jasper #waters #powers #currin

You can always prove your self-worth to a crowd by announcing your job title or advanced degree. Stating these qualities has the verbal shelf life of a one-liner; you’ve got to follow up with something else to keep everyone’s attention.

If you’re stuck in front of an unfortunately bad painting made by a “John,” lean toward a friend and say, “Well, he’s no John Baldessari. Not even a Currin.” Your dry wit, although off-topic, will give your friend a glimpse into your near-encyclopedic knowledge of contemporary art and artists.

Having a penchant for shameless audacity will serve you well with the next art scene skill.

Art scene skill #4: Having the confidence to call something Kentucky fried art.

You don’t need to know exactly what Kentucky fried art means to get that it’s not a compliment. What matters in conversation is having the chutzpah to call out bad art when you see it.

Personally, I’m not into calling things Kentucky fried art; I haven’t eaten at KFC in over a decade. However, my best stab at KFA goes to Nate Lowman for taking some good ideas then covering them with some of the most tasteless non-theories out there.

Art scene fail: Refusing to wait until you’re away blocks away from a gallery to voice your opinions.


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