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HELLO, I'M DAVID HOCKNEY, a painter best known for such works as "L. A. Swimming Pool, No. 1" and "L.A. Swimming Pool, No. 718." In my book, "Secret Knowledge," I theorized that our greatest painters relied on "tricks": Velasquez used the camera obscura; Ingres employed lenses and mirrors; Vermeer drew a turkey by tracing around his outstretched hand. Am I calling the Old Masters "cheaters"? Of course not. I’m merely saying they are all lazy no-talent bastards.

Leonardo DaVinci
The greatest mind of the Renaissance, daVinci has been credited with so many inventions: the parachute, the glider, Snapple. Is it a stretch to believe that he also invented the Xerox machine? Could the vast number of faded sketches he left behind be the result of low toner? One can picture the great artist trying to run off another "Mona Lisa," pumping florin after florin into his machine, only to read the sad news: "papieri impacto grosso" (Paper Jammed).
How could one man create so staggeringly powerful a masterpiece as the Sistine Chapel? Tracing paper.
Vincent Van Gogh
Vincent van Gogh was crazy…like a fox. He acted a bit daft, lopped off an earlobe, and suddenly his painting of sunflowers is going for thirty-five million bucks. I believe his madness was no more real than my English accent, and such skepticism should extend to all arts. Was Beethoven deaf, or just not listening? Is Ray Charles blind, or does he just look cool in shades?
Piet Mondrian
This Dutch artist created beauty and elegance from stark arrangements of horizontals and verticals. I am certain he used an Etch-A-Sketch. This popular children’s toy can’t draw a circle or write your name, but it can crank out Mondrians to beat the band. Sadly, any of Mondrian’s original etch-a-sketchings would have been erased in the Amsterdam Earthquake of 1948.
Salvador Dali
With the image of a drooping, melted pocket watch, the Surrealist movement was born. But perhaps Dali was simply painting what he saw. If you’ve ever been to Spain in the summertime, you know it’s bloody hot. Hot enough to melt a pocket watch? Sure, I guess so, why not?
Jackson Pollock
You can’t look at the throbbing, vibrant abstracts of this troubled artist and not think, "My kid brother could do that." Well, he did have a kid brother, Benjy Pollock. Is this proof he painted most of Jackson’s works? To my mind, yes. I am also investigating other artists’ kid brothers, including Skippy Kandinsky and Chu Chu Picasso.
Jay Leno
I don’t think he just "makes up" all that funny stuff he says on the "Tonight Show." I believe other people write these jokes in advance, and then he reads them off cards of some sort.
David Hockney
I employ no tricks whatsoever. I merely paint pictures of swimming pools. And sell them to millionaires. Who own swimming pools.

More art secrets uncovered:
A Tour of the Trask Museum
Live! Nude! Education!

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