SNP’s word of the day: Fartist

Illustration by Lewis Mirrett

Illustration by Lewis Mirrett

Word: Fartist

Usage: “Artist or Fartist?” – @BruceLaBruce

Definition: An artist who emits work that stinks. (I feel gross.)

You should know it because: It’s March Madness for the art world, too. In New York there are no fewer than 10 fairs this month, and I went to one of the largest of them, The Armory show, on Sunday. Art fairs always make me feel hungover: there’s so much to imbibe, it’s drowning by overstimulation and the lights give me a headache. The Armory, especially, is a dizzying trade show full of mostly saleable contemporary art that ranges from spectacular to sickeningly bad with loads of decor-type stuff in between. As I walked through I was thinking of Bruce La Bruce’s funny recent Vice column, in which he makes you guess whether his iPhone snaps from a recent art fair are really art or not. I play this game too. Art or design? Art or trash heap? Art or Broadway-Lafayette station under construction? All that neon spray paint and exposed wiring and fluorescence… The differences between very high art and very low art, or not art, are more negligible every day. I can’t say quite how to differentiate. Art is like porn in that you know it when you see it (also, it turns you on???). In my admittedly narrow view, artists physically and emotionally create things in a necessarily difficult process. Fartists hot-glue a stack of “found objects” and call it a night. Fartists are the kind of people who waftily say “art happens,” but that’s not true at all. Farts happen. Art is made.