As I’ve mentioned one or two million times before, I work in a law firm. It’s somewhat different than all my previous work environments, which have ranged from a warehouse/production environment to a lot of years in Higher Education.
One thing all my jobs have had in common though, is that people will buy some ugly ass “art” and hang it on the walls and call it good. The firm is no exception, although they apparently went the route of actually having all their shitty art insured and have it inspected once a year. They’re also about to spend an obscene amount of money on having interior designers come in and choose new paint colors for the walls (undoubtedly another exciting shade of beige or ecru) and move the art around.
But I digress.
I’ve been talking for a few months now about how the world needs a blog similar to cakewrecks, but for office art1. We could call it uglyofficeart.com and accept submissions from offices around the globe that have ugly art in them. Which I am starting to think is all of them.
At says I should quit talking about it and actually try it.
So here I am, taking a stab at a piece that hangs near to my cubical, and seems more like a poster than real art, but is somewhat rich with possibilities for mockery. I call it Downtown Types, because those are the words printed on the piece so that we’re not confused into thinking it’s Businessmen Next to Cactus or Two Dudes Standing Around Waiting for a Bus and Sharing a Paper.
(And I apologize in advance for the shitty quality of my phone photo. It was hard to get the picture without getting my own reflection in there and a bunch of people were walking by and giving me very funny looks2.)
I want to start by saying that I don’t understand why anyone would pay actual money for this… this… “art.” Even taking into account that art appreciation is fairly subjective, I can’t begin to figure out who took a look at this and thought, “You know, this looks like something a 12 year old might create in art class, what with the wobbly knees and severely inclined angles at which those two douches in suits are standing. I should buy it and insure it and hang it up on the wall at work!”
And then there’s the question of what the artist was trying to say here. “Downtown types are faceless money-grubbers in rumpled suits that all look the same and who don’t actually contribute anything more to society than standing around and catching up on the news or the stock market. I will demonstrate their soullessness by having them be indistinguishable, crooked and standing on either side of a vaguely phallic cactus! Brilliant!”
Lastly, I think this is a pretty narrow slice of what might constitute “Downtown Types.” I work downtown myself, and in addition to all the people in various degrees of business wear, I also see the homeless, people dressed to casually stroll the city streets, people working out, people half dressed, that one guy in a kilt who was playing the bagpipes, a variety of hippies and a bunch of people in various uniforms, such as cops or city workers.
You know, maybe that whole Downtown Types thing is a typo. Because I could totally see this being a better and more accurate representation of Downton Types.
What do you guys think? About the art or the feeble attempts at wit, here. I am possibly not the person for the job of lambasting ugly office art, but man, I do see a lot of it every day. Like the painting of a dead joker that hangs outside the president of the firm’s office. I am not sure what that says about him, but I can think of a few things I’d be willing to say about it.