This story is over 5 years old.


Is This Art or a Place to Sit Down?

Sometimes it's hard to tell the difference between art and gargantuan pink dongs.
March 7, 2012, 6:15pm

As I told you recently, a couple of weeks ago I attended ARCO, the enormous art fair held in a convention center on the outskirts of Madrid. Although I was disappointed by the lack of political, sexual, and religious content in general, there was some interesting work. So much, in fact, that it made me wonder if there aren’t more artists in the world than regular people these days. This can hardly be a good thing. Anyway, as I moved through the fair with my Madrid gallerist, Topacio Fresh—who runs past art faster than anyone I’ve ever met—I only had time to take quick snapshots of whatever caught my eye. For the most part, I didn’t even have time to find out who the artist was, where they were from, or, at times, if what I was looking at was actually art, a utility, an advertisement, or part of the décor. So for this week’s column I leave you with a little game—to decide, based on the following photographs, if it’s art or not art. Sometimes it’s really hard to tell these days. Look at the photos, and before reading the captions make your guesses.

I think this was an ad for ARCO.

Art, or really pretty garbage.

This was either art or a divider of some sort, so it could be a utility.

Definitely art. This was my favorite painting at the fair.

Art, but it looks an awful lot like décor.

Art, but it also looks an awful lot like décor.


This was art, but I think I saw some people drying their hands on it after coming out of the toilet.

Pretty cool art.

This was either art or a visit from the female counterpart of the obelisk from 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Art and décor.

Art photography. I actually ate these barnacle things in Madrid. Kind of gross.

I think this was art, but I wanted to sit down on it for a rest. It also reminds me of the pillow that Ann-Margret humps in Tommy.

This could have easily been art, but it was actually a place to sit down for a rest.



Décor disguised as art.

Art. Pretty cool painting, actually.

Cool art décor.

I think this was also a divider, so utility, but it could have been art too.

Spanish art.

This was actually one of my favorite pieces of art: a map of the world made up of thousands of rolled up Mexican pesos by Mexican artist Maximo Gonzalez.

Art, but I know you want it as décor for your rec room.

This was either art or the coat check for Stevie Nicks.

Art, but it would also make a good garbage receptacle.

Art, or someone was having a really bad meth trip.

Believe it or not, this was art, not the contents of my bedside table.


And this was also art—not random garbage.

Previously – Don't Get Your Rosaries in a Brunch Madrid Part II