So many choices, so many cliches (screenshot of

Just in time for tonight’s premiere of the trashy reality TV series (wait, that may be redundant) Work of Art, is a new web app to help you separate the wheat from the chaff, the Art School Cliché detector!

While the app is obviously British in origin, that doesn’t mean that most of these stereotypes don’t easily translate to this side of the Atlantic.

With categories like (but not limited to):

  • Zines (“ … much cooler than a magazine,” it informs us),
  • Close-up Photos (“The closer the lens to the subject, the more talented the photographer. Or something like that.”),
  • Graffiti (“The law is wrong … it’s art.”),
  • Polaroids (“Far from dead … ”),
  • Manifesto (“ … best thing to do with a boring message … ”),
  • Loving Parents (“Thinly-veiled criticisms of parents disguised as odes of love … ”),
  • CMYK (“What could be better than cyan, magenta, yellow and black unmixed?”),
  • Found Objects (“A cheap way of sourcing materials.”),
  • Poor Technical Execution (“Surely using a ruler and a sharp scalpel blade can’t be that difficult.”), and
  • Social Change (“Society isn’t fair!”) …

… you’re sure to wade through the frauds and wannabes out there. Now, if someone would please devise a simple bullshit detector for the art world.

Visit to get started.

Hat tip @beckleyworks

Hrag Vartanian is editor-in-chief and co-founder of Hyperallergic.

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