So. What do we make of this piece? Is it a critique of late capitalism and the hyperindividual? Is it a challenge to classical aesthetics? Or is it simply a pointed example of human frailty as evidenced by the inability to produce a faithful representative depiction of another living person? Like all great works of art, this piece refuses to answer these questions to our satisfaction. The piece leaves us, as the famous YouTuber and cultural critic John Green would say, “unsettled, but enlarged.”
It is tempting to laugh this work off as simply ugly and poorly-executed. It’s an easy way for us to disavow responsibility for its existence, to pretend that it was formed in a vacuum and that we are not complicit in the establishment of the political and aesthetic abattoir in which we are presently queued. We may insist that we are not the father of this baby. Yet, as always, Post-Structuralist Maury Povich is here to tell us: we are the father of this baby.