YouTube video

For those who need a break from following the news on what has turned out to be a horrific day, we offer this short bit of humor — 2 minutes and 46 seconds of hilarious art satire.

The video is a critique of “Monkey Farter,” a pen on lined paper drawing by “the artist known as Will.” The drawing with text — or the “assemblage of both textual and representational elements,” as the narrator refers to it — is a crude stick figure representation of a monkey farting … or is it?

“On closer inspection, the objet does not so readily give over to the expectations of monkey or monkey-ness, rather looking like a Cubist bird or an angry clown, perhaps a jab at Picasso’s harlequin phase,” the narrator explains as he leads the viewer on a nearly breathless, harrowing, often alliterative journey into the heart of the artwork.

“And here, here is the epiphany,” he proclaims a bit later. “What is the essence of a fart? Is it some Aristotalian abstract notion of form, or is the fart merely the sum total of the representations of the fart?”

Undoubtedly a question we’ve all pondered at one point or another. (I, for one, had a professor in college who wrote a book about farting.)

I don’t want to ruin the joy of the final realization, which will really blow your mind, but consider this: “It is as if de Kooning erased his own drawing. There is no ‘it’; there is no monkey; there is no farter; it is just I. The monkey farter is me!”

As one YouTube commenter wrote so well, “This sums up my five years of fine art education.”

Jillian Steinhauer

Jillian Steinhauer is a former senior editor of Hyperallergic. She writes largely about the intersection of art...