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But I Digress (A Coyote's View of Art History)

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I created this Art History series because I became a successful artist while still a bonehead, a bonehead who most certainly could have used this information. I was a very naïve twenty-six when I started the Coyote series in June 1986, and by March 1987 my work was in over one hundred galleries worldwide. I knew nothing about art or art history at the time, other than Rembrandt did Mona Lisa and Vincent Van Gogh cut off his ear. Well, actually, it was Da Vinci who painted Mona and Vincent only cut off the lobe of his ear, and therein lies my point: art history is tough, and can be intimidating. People forget that no one is born a know-it-all.

Problem is, most art history books are chuck-full of words like "fecund" and "devoid" and "imbued" and "sublime." Incidentally, the word "sublime" makes no sense. "Sub" means beneath, "lime" is a green tangy fruit. Imagine someone saying, "I love your work, it's beneath a green tangy fruit." What is that? But I digress. My point here is that most art history writing is done for the benefit of other bookish art historians, and that crazy language they use does more to obfuscate an ambiguity than repay a scrutiny, if you know what I mean.

Hopefully, my collection serves a different purpose. It is designed to give a casual art observer just enough information to be lethal at snooty cocktail parties. inside information is everything. Art is wonderful, a huge, epic, emotion-packed thrill ride for the ages - once you get past the arrogance. It's really quite amazing how expressive modern masters have been, how much they said, without opening their mouths or writing a word. Then again, sometimes it's hard to figure what the heck is going on with certain artists; they seem to speak in gibberish. With that in mind, may this collection be your "secret decoder ring."

Markus Pierson

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