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This Is Legitimately Fascinating

Sanitized for your protection.

It doesn’t matter how it started, really, but it did — fa ake fight between David Willis and Jeph Jacques on Twitter escalated into art duel at 20 paces: the first blow was struck, then the response (very NSFW), and the counter-response (really NSFW), then the butthurt started.

Not Willis and Jacques, mind you, they’re just cartoonists talkin’ shit about each other and that never fails to go straight to the nasty pictorial representations (hell, you should see some of the vicious artistic slanders I’ve seen close personal friends inflict on Brad Guigar, and how hard he laughed at each one). Also, not so much from fans offended that somebody had made fun of their very favoritest creator ever; mostly it was people pissed at Jacques that he didn’t put his drawing behind a cut.

Either they saw it at work and [almost] got in trouble, or they saw it in front of {mom|significant other|maiden aunt who’s a nun|small child} and had some ‘splainin’ to do, or they just didn’t want to have such things inflicted on their retinas. And that’s where it got interesting. From Jacques, via Twitter:

It’s pretty amazing that even in this cynical Internet age a stupid drawing can elicit such a visceral response from people.

If i were still in school I’d totally write a research paper about Internet art as a weapon.

When you think about it, 80% of the “fine art” produced in the past 100 years is basically trolling.

Dadaism? Trolling. Cubism? Trolling. Abstraction? Minimalism? Found objects? Trolling. Taking a shit on the Virgin Mary? EPIC TROLL.

When fine art divorced itself from technical skill it became dedicated to eliciting a reaction rather than protraying the transcendental.

I guess my ideal piece of art is something that evokes primal, Neanderthal-in-a-hurricane-level fear in all who witness it.

And that’s where we are now, as of this writing — a discussion on art and emotional reaction, born out two guys one-upping each other’s insults. That was a pretty nice capper to the week.

First of all, I don’t understand why Jacques and Willis are going after each other’s throats in the first place – I don’t really read either of their webcomics, so I don’t know their background. But if this is a publicity stunt, then it seems like there are better ways now to get more readers like, say, do some guest strips instead of just starting a flame war. It makes them both look like jackasses and it doesn’t really spur me on to buy their merchandise. It’s not even clever insults, it’s just low blows.

Concerning Jacques’ twitters, I think he’s missing the point of why his readers are upset with him – it’s a knee-jerk reaction. If I want to see David Willis get fucked by a dog while he sucks someone’s cock (and dear God I do not, I feel like I need to wash my hands after writing that sentence), then I wouldn’t go to QC’s Livejournal. Secondly, his picture isn’t art, it’s an insult, plain and simple. Although some modern artists may disagree, shock value isn’t artistic value. Shock value is when you go to the circus and see the death-defying stunts. Jacques is trying to justify his irresponsible behavior by calling his explicit picture art. Sure, you can finish a plate of fries, put it on a pedestal, and call it art. And you’ll look like an idiot and people will call your work “bad art.”

Willis, don’t get cozy over there, you’re no better. The both of you are behaving like a pair of middle schoolers.

Pretty Jeff: “Publicity stunt”?! From whom? A couple of webcomics sites that get a fraction of the traffic they already have.

They’re friends, and they’re fuckin’ with each other.

People with senses of humor do this from time to time.

And yes, they are behaving like a “pair of middle schoolers.” What’s wrong with that? Get the cock out of your ass. Not everyone needs to act like an “adult” 24/7.

Eh, I don’t really share the same kind of humor that they have, so I took it differently.

And like I said, I don’t read their webcomics, but perhaps I should have done a little more digging before posting here, since I came off as hostile towards the two.

Twitter fight aside, I have an axe to grind with the idea that abstract art is trolling. Bad shock art is already regarded as bad in the art community. Even the Virgin Mary in elephant dung had an intentional fertility context from African culture. This will continue to elude the ignorant.


It’s trolling in the sense that it generated (and still generates) a response of shock and offense (“what the- MY KID COULD DO THAT!”) in some viewers. I’m actually a big fan of abstract art, I ceertainly don’t think this is its only intent or use, but I still think my point stands.

Also I never said that stupid drawing was art. I hesitate to call ANYTHING I do “art.”


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