Art Review: Studies in Flab and Drooping Skin

Drawing of an old man

By the looks of past exhibits, I’d think artist Jeanine J. Eninaej was a primary school art teacher, exhibiting works by her worst students to wake up the masses to the unfortunate Future of Art in the post-postmodern world. But in fact, she exhibits her very own original “art” at some of the most “prestigious” galleries throughout this post-postmodern world.1

Her current exhibit, however, entitled Studies in Flab and Drooping Skin, departs from past works in that it actually is realist. The works are true to life in almost every detail, from colour, to shade, to the shapes of the subjects. Of course, she mainly accomplishes this realism by use of a digital camera, which is known to be operable by even the worst so-called artists, not to mention primary school delinquents.

Anyway, Studies in Flab, which opened last Thursday2 at the Museum of Fine Postmodern So-Called Art (with an excellent choice of fine wines and cheeses, if I may say so myself), is essentially a bunch of photographs of slightly chubby and/or wrinkly people of all ages. One photo features a pug woman wearing a rather tight-fitting tank top, the focal point being a lot of flab hanging over the elastic edge of the shirt at the back of the shoulders. Whether this woman knew she was being photographed or was an innocent victim of artistic license is a question left unanswered, but the viewer is certainly affected, not to say pleasantly, by the sight.

Another work (and I use the term loosely) presents a frontal portrait of an elderly man with a sort of distrustful scowl on his face. Apparently, this man knows he is being photographed, and does not seem to enjoy it. You can see the skin of his face and neck sagging, and of particular note is the thinness of the neck skin, which hides nothing of its veins, tendons, and muscle (of lack thereof).

Our impression: this is the sort of art that belongs in a hotel. Nothing says “There’s no place like home” like a saggy old bloke scowling at you while you sleep. And what better view upon exiting the elevator to the lobby than the back of some chubby lass whose shirt is too tight? Since hotel patrons have no choice about the artwork in their living space, the staff can do artists like Ms. Eninaej a favour by supporting their ugly whims, thus helping move the art world forward (again, using the term loosely), whatever the casualties along the way. After all, supporting art is a civic duty these days, and this way you make people pay for it without even realising they are.

Basically, we advise you not to waste your time on this exhibit unless you are a hotel manager, in which case you can waste all the time you want.

Old man, clean shaven, prominent chin and a sinewy neck, by Wenceslaus Hollar (1607-1677). Cited by Jeanine J Eninaej as a fundamental influence on her current exhibit. Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

  1. But perhaps that is just another sign of the unfortunate state of Art in the post-postmodern world.
  2. Why do they always open on Thursday?

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