Baby, What I Say

My friend Robert, an artist and art critic, recently contributed to the on-line Berkeley Historical Plaque Project a salute to an anonymous artist whose medium was the tar used to repair cracks on the Nimitz Trail Robert compared his (or her) “expressionistic grace” to that of a caligrapher and caled attention to the “exploding strokes, errant gestures and… hints of figure.” When I complimented Robert on his droll skewering or art critics and their prose, as well as his ability to write with his tongue implanted so firmly in his cheek, he replied that he might have been droll, but that his praise was sincere.

Oops! After wiping the egg from my face, I noted that Duchamp’s Theorem: “Art is what an artist says it is, now had Kehlmann’s Corollary: “Art criticism is what an art critice says it is” as well.


My most recent contributions to the Berkeley E-Plaque Project, founded and chairmanned by the estimable Robert Kehlmann, have gone up: Robert Duncan; B.N.Duncan (no relation). You may read them, perhaps with some sleuthing required, at