'The Scream'? Painting By Numbers Seems Harder



'The Scream'

'The Scream' (Edvard Munch / May 11, 2012)

So I'm looking at a painting called "The Scream," which just sold for $119.9 million, when it occurs to me: I could have done that.

I mean, all we're talking about here is a central figure with a head shaped like a light bulb. How hard would that be to draw?

This got me to thinking that there are other pricey works of art I could have done.

Take Jackson Pollock.

This guy Pollock didn't even use a brush. He just laid a canvas on the floor and dripped paint on it. And a lot of the time he was probably hammered when he did it.

In 2006, David Geffen, who may or may not have been the inspiration for Carly Simon's song "You're So Vain," sold one of Pollock's paintings for a reported $140 million.

I'll tell you, if I had been more familiar with Pollock's stuff when I painted the upstairs, I never would have thrown away the drop cloth.

Whoa, you know what just occurred to me? I could be an abstract expressionist and not even know it. Maybe I should look into getting a beret.

One artist I could never emulate is Picasso. Old Pablo was one seriously warped dude. I've been to a couple of his exhibits, and both times I came away with the same thought:

This is a person who didn't hear the warning about the brown acid at Woodstock.

Anyway, this may come as a shock, but I don't know a lot about art. This technicality doesn't stop me from going to exhibits, where I have become adept at faking it.

Sometimes I will stare at a painting for a long time while rubbing my chin. I'm probably thinking about the Red Sox starting rotation, or how my shorts are riding up, but to the casual observer I look deep.

On those occasions where someone will ask me what I think, I'll mumble something about the painter's interesting use of negative space.

I'm not exactly sure what negative space is, but then neither, I have found, do most people. That said, there have been times when after I have used this line I can tell the other person is thinking the only negative space is between my ears.

Of course, if that person were really insightful he'd be thinking, "I'll bet his undershorts are riding up."

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