Dom Joly: Contemporary art is a load of old poo

Share
Related Topics

I've just been to an art "do". The artists were old friends, and they always have a great turnout for their shows. This one was particularly impressive and the place was crammed with peculiarly dressed people trying to look both hip and unconcerned while glugging as much free drink as possible.

For me, it was a particularly odd evening as I kept wandering into people from my past. At times, it touched on a nightmare episode of This Is Your Life, as more and more skeletons appeared out of my closet. Everyone I met seemed to keen to remind me of something terrible I'd done or said to somebody whom I couldn't remember even meeting.

If I ever write an autobiography, I'm going to have to do some serious research, as it appears that most of my life is a complete blank.

I'm now a little suspicious of some of the stories in Keith Richards's excellent new memoir. I assumed that a book by Keef would be as incoherent as the old soak himself. Far from it – it's razor sharp, funny and rich in detail. How could he remember all this? This a cat who appears to have spent 30 years of his life off his box.

In the art gallery, somebody was reminiscing about the "famous" night I'd thrown three tins of paint off somebody's roof while dressed as a Roman legionnaire. This was patently untrue, and I wondered whether the raconteur was pulling my leg or seriously delusional? I mumbled some excuses about "crazy times", and started to fight my way towards the bar. My way was blocked by several other old acquaintances, each keen to tell me how they felt about my career.

What was particularly galling about this was that I remembered most of these people as hippy/eco-warrior types. When we were all getting wasted in the pubs of our youth, they were all vegans smoking too much dope and waffling on about confused Far-Eastern mystical philosophies. Now, 20 years on, they are all dressed in sharp suits and seem to have made considerable fortunes advising companies on how to go green. It was all a touch depressing.

I spotted Gilbert and George wandering about. They are the slightly peculiar art duo that always wear vaguely matching suits and look like a geeky pair of Thompson Twins. The last time I bumped into them, I was filming an art spoof and got them to sign two fake turds that we then slipped into one of their exhibitions in Paris. At the time, there was much interest from punters and three people actually made offers on said poo before an irate curator gingerly removed it.

Art is essentially a blagger's game and that's why I love it. If you go to see work by an artist that you don't know and you like it, you'll most likely fall for the pretentious guff written in the catalogue. Never, however, read the guff about anyone you actually know, as it's instantly obvious that they are all talking out of their arse.

Another ghost from the distant past accosted me and wanted to know about the "pooing situation" in the jungle. "Did you poo constantly? Was it the consistency of goat pellets?"

The room was getting hotter and hotter and more and more people were pouring in. Surely these weren't invited guests? It felt like everyone walking by was now wandering in and stealing booze before taking their place in the sardine tin.

"Twenty works sold," announced our hostess proudly. With the cheapest "piece" going for eight grand, it didn't take a maths genius to know that I'm in the wrong game.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Office Administrator

£14000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Office Administrator is requ...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Manager required for a busy company in...

Recruitment Genius: Controller / Mobile Inspector

£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This leading security company requires a prof...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Consultant

£15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A sales person is required to join a lea...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Protesters march with banners during an anti-austerity, anti-Conservative Party protest in May  

Budget 2015: Why do we call social security payments 'benefits'? They are a right, not a reward

Janey Stephenson
Laura Bassett signs autographs for England fans after the quarter-final victory  

Women's World Cup: Despite the England team's tweet, the Lionesses can be mothers and successful football players at the same time

Chloe Hamilton
Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

Heavy weather

What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

World Bodypainting Festival 2015

Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

Don't call us nerds

Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high
How to find gold: The Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge

How to find gold

Steve Boggan finds himself in the Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge
Singing accents: From Herman's Hermits and David Bowie to Alesha Dixon

Not born in the USA

Lay off Alesha Dixon: songs sound better in US accents, even our national anthem
10 best balsamic vinegars

10 best balsamic vinegars

Drizzle it over salad, enjoy it with ciabatta, marinate vegetables, or use it to add depth to a sauce - this versatile staple is a cook's best friend
Wimbledon 2015: Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

Serena dispatched her elder sister 6-4, 6-3 in eight minutes more than an hour
Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy