• Vol. 03
  • Chapter 01

Modern Art is Rubbish

I hate these places now; full of pretentious idiots with too much time on their hands. I started going to galleries as a kid, haunting the National and the Tate before it became Tate Britain. As a teenage boy I fell into a painting by Francis Bacon and for a moment I thought I understood.

I didn't though.

Understand, I mean.

This is awful. I long to escape. Not just here though.

I long to escape.

These paintings, they represent everything we've become. We are modern art.

Unfocused and insubstantial.


I look at the dammed thing, at the painting which caused the chill atmosphere which I'm pretending not to notice, which I am trying to talk around. A million misshapen blobs and a bleeding eye. Not literally bleeding of course, that would be more post-modern, and I've a vague idea we're onto post-post-modern now.

All I know is there's this big eye and it see through us both.

How can two people be so unhappy in each other's presence remain so glued together. We're torturer and captive but we've forgotten who's who.

She used to laugh once.

She used to love me once.


Modern Art is Rubbish

Never mind that, she used to fancy me once, these days she fancies a triple mocha something-or-other, along with tables and chairs which these days need to match the wallpaper and the cutlery.

Once we unironically slept upon a threadbare carpet beneath a reprint of a Monet painting and called ourselves happy.

Where did we go?

I try to talk breezily about the other paintings; over there there is a sketch of a dog in flight, catching a cricket ball between wet jaws. I try to draw her out, drag her away from the beam of this artistic CCTV.

I try to connect.

I try to reconnect.

To her.

A younger versioI recall a dalliance upon a Catalan balcony, arguing all night once about the pros and cons of Rothko, creator of stupid earth coloured squares and rectangles, before making love upon a balcony covered with pebbles. Agreeing to disagree.

Trying to discover the world. Together.

These days she looks at me like I'm that bloke out of Abigail's Party; parading knowledge which is only a sham, not knowledge at all, but the pretence of wisdom.

Yet all I really want is for her to look at me once more with eyes which don't despise me.


Modern Art is Rubbish

There's a hipster couple whispering in the corner, and I shoot them a foul look, catch a condescending look in eyes too young to truly understand anything.

I assume they're hipsters. The man is ridiculously skinny and wears a beard you could hide an eagle in and I ignore their contemptuous glances as I try to explain, justify, why I don't like the big stupid eye watching me.

Watching us.

Is this art?

Shouldn't art mean something?

Does this mean anything?