January 24, 2007

Idea: Paintings of descriptions of the paintings

Painting Information

If I had the time, the means, and the resources, I’d make a series of large paintings of those little cards that describe paintings in museums. They would be paintings of the cards that describe themselves. For example, I’d do a painting in oil on canvas that describes itself as being an oil painting on canvas. Then I’d hang it in a gallery next to a little card that’s identical to the painting, but is actually there to describe the painting. I’d do a whole series, with different materials. Oil on canvas, Acrylic on wood, etc. See the photo illustration above for an idea of how it might look.


Brilliant. I really like the idea.

it’s so brilliant i’m surprised nobody actully did it yet!


I don’t know know if this idea is more of the mind of Andy Warhol or Jerry Zucker. It’s certainly clever. I wonder if any gallery would actually go for it?

Fantastic (and hilarious) idea!

This idea is Ironic Avec!

Don’t forget to have one which looks like the placeholder which they put up when a work is on loan or is being restored.

You could take this one ironic step further and create a print, rolled up, wrapped in plastic, and price stickered, to look exactly like the cheap posters on sale in the gift shop.

I’ll buy 10

awesome idea - you should def. do it! make a book or something - i’d buy it :)

I think you should do it.

haha brilliant! You should do it for sure!

wonderful idea indeed. when seeing this I immediately thought about an ‘addition’ to this: why not switch the big paintings with the little description cards and have big description cards with little paintings next to them?

This is really nice. From the title I was thinking paintings of words describing a scene, kind of like Richard Prince’s joke paintings. (i.e. “Snow capped hills behind Buffalo Bill shooting a horse.”) But this is really good. You could have editions of each painting, since museums all have their own descriptive card formats.

The conceptual artist John Baldessari has done this kind of thing for years. Back in ‘91 at the LA MOCA I saw an exhibit of his in which there were a number of white canvases with sayings on them. “A picture with only one property,” for instance. He also had one set of canvases on which was written the history of it’s display (“Buffalo Museum, June 21-25, 1988,” etc. It had been displayed in so many places that he needed a second canvas to list them all! Another painting was called, “Tips for Artists Who Want to Sell” and listed such useful tidbits as, “Cows and chickens collect dust while the same paintings with bulls and hens sell.” I liked it so much I bought a tee-shirt of it that I still have to this day!

Very self-referential stuff.

Great idea!, but when you buy one, do you get the little card to?

Love it! You’d appreciate a piece I recently made, it consists of a series of small frames each with a piece of paper in them that says “this page intentionally left blank”.

Great idea. I think you should just make one for your home.
For the next series, paintings that say things like, “Your kid could do this.”
“you don’t know much about art, but you know what you like.”
Or descriptive placards placed next to actual functional fire extiguishers and wet floor signs, to circumvent those people who all jokingly ask if such things are art installations or not.

Actually the little cards are the art.

Your idea isn’t any more ridiculous than this

I’ll pile on and say that I, too, love this idea. You should definitely do this. Then call MOMA and demand $412 million.

Reminds me of an idea I had as a teenager. I always wanted to do a giant canvas of my signature and then sign it.

At the opening you can have empty trays with the description of the hors d’oeuvre with discard dish for used toothpicks, and right next to it could be empty wine glasses filled with organic oxygen, or better yet “vintage” organic oxygen.

The LA County Museum of Art did this with billboards for a huge ad campaign. They did it to describe nearby buildings or landmarks. It was a great campaign!

I love it. I really love it.

You have to do it, it’s great!

nice one. I wish you well. A whole new art movement of ironicism

I’ve always wanted to do a series of paintings of people in galleries, hunched over and reading those little cards instead of looking at the cards.

Let’s do a partnered exhibition in adjoining galleries and then have a panel discussion that ends in a fistfight over whose show is more real.

I did a series of these exact things in college, but lost all but 1 in a fire. Damnit!

Are you serious? My 3 year old niece could do that. Save yourself the time and effort and maybe make a real painting…

Yes, yes, yes, but what does the art mean? ;-)

How many times have I read those little brassy titles and wondered
instead of looking at the painting, well done, do it.

I think it should be a collaborative project. I’m going to make large, adhesive red dots and walk around sticking them on the paintings when they sell. Call it performance art.

Nice! I had a similar one which would involve creating a huge amount of tags like that. Each one would say my name, date of production and a title:
“Very Large Quantity of Information Tags “. How about that?

Why are you reading the tags? Because they let you know about the context of the artwork — where, when, who, why, how. Art without context is just a thing.

I LOVE this idea. You need to do it before someone steals the idea. xD

I’m so hoping you can help with this search that my boss has me on(sorry to end the sentence with a preposition!). But, for his own personal collection he wants the “holders” that are next to paintings that give a brief description, history of the painting. I know that most galleries do their own but I need to find ones available to the public. If you have ideas, you are my hero. If not, you’re still really cool. Thanks, Maggie

You should call this meta-art.

Great minds think alike!
Did this painting a few months ago.

someone already did do it!

I’d like to add my title cards to the pile. Started making them in 2000.


It has been done so many times. If your going to take the piss out of Art at least try and do it originally.