I don’t know much about art, but….

As has been reported in many places (such as The Guardian), the “artists” Jake and Dinos Chapman feel that we shouldn’t take children to art galleries. Apparently, “children are not human”, and it would be rotten of us to subject them to the difficulty of trying to understand art.

I was taken to the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery when I was seven or eight, and really enjoyed it. I liked the paintings. I liked the impressive collection of Wedgwood ceramics. There was a perspex bee-hive in one window, and I thought that was very interesting, as well.

The paintings were terrific. They even had some Picassos, and I thought I understood them well enough. You could see what they were about.

I think that Jake and Dinos Chapman are afraid the children will notice that the Emperor has no clothes on…

“I think you can take a cross section of all the work we’ve made. And it’s almost like our work is trying to explain the range of human emotion to someone who is autistic or to an alien. We are trying to explain human emotion to an alien. On the one hand we have the Nazi-banners with the smiley faces. The smiley faces represent happiness. Through to figures on a tree being hung with their testicles around the neck, which represent unhappiness. So in some ways our work is not about the elaborate attempts of to provoke these provocative, traumatic reactions on the part of the viewer. Our work is about taking things like swastikas, smiley faces or Goya’s images of war, because we see them as symbols for an emotional world that is impoverished already. Because there is already an amount of erasure already going on in theses images. They fail. They present the idea with pathos, the idea of the grand narratives of human existence, yet at the same time they mean nothing.

Indeed so, Jake, indeed so.