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Am I a Genius Yet? (2001)

About the Paintings
(Curious George)

From the ArtDisc release, Am I a Genius Yet?


First off, I want to give props to the lawyers who are reading this. Thank you for not suing me. I HAVE NO MONEY. It’s not worth your time.

AOL is For LosersNow, then. I spent New Years’ Eve 1999 in Manhattan, largely because I always wanted to see New York, but mainly because the American mass media was convinced (along with half the population) that the world would come to a fiery end from God or the Martians or the Y2K Bug or whoever was still pointing missiles at us. I figured if all hell was going to break loose I should be in the middle of the action. Why settle with watching the Apocalypse on TV? So I got on a bus and left.

Needless to say, the world didn’t end, which must have been a disappointment to a few people (possibly including the small army of cops around Times Square), but I still had a great time.

On the bus back to Minneapolis, I whipped up a whole pile of drawings out of a coloring book. The coloring book and box of crayons were waay too expensive (around five bucks), and most of the crayons were shades of green and red, but I was enjoying myself and entertaining the four-year-old girl in the seat in front of me. When it was done, I had scribbled together ten different drawings in my Curious George book. Yeah, I know, it was a long trip.

I put them away for a while and then came back a few months later. I was joking about pushing these as “serious art”, but I never took it seriously. It was just fun. But over time, I thought about it and figured, hey, why not? This stuff is just as good as anything else I’ve ever done; there’s a lot of skill and thought put into these creations; they look good. Most importantly, these were cheap to make, and I could sell them for a fairly low price (don’t get me started on the prices of artwork). These drawing are, well, Epicurean. (read your Greek philosophy for that one) Who wouldn’t like that?

There’s actually something about children’s’ coloring books that I admire. Here’s a perfect example of what I’m thinking. Every Thanksgiving, most local supermarkets have coloring contests for the kids. There are contests for different age groups, from the five-year-olds to the twelve-year-olds (or so). The older, grade-school children always color their drawings very carefully, always remembering to stay inside the lines, just like the grownups told them.

But the youngest group, the four- and five-year-olds…wow. No staying inside the lines. No being careful. And no obeying the grownups' stupid rules. These drawings are completely chaotic messes; pure expressionism. These little children only think about having a good time and living out their imaginations, and these are ALWAYS the best drawings on the supermarket walls.

The Worst Painting You Ever Saw in your LifeI think it’s funny, and quite telling. Like I’ve said before, I honestly believe that the average four-year-old has more artistic prowess than most adults. It’s funny that these children are naturally in touch with something that older people, as adults, have to go to college and struggle to relearn.

Track Listing

The Artist Statement
About the Paintings
Tales From the B-Side
Daytona USA
How to Write a Resignation Letter

1998 Works
Model Portraits
Curious George
Watercolors on Canvas