With the temperature in triple digits outside the courtroom, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli was back in court on Friday afternoon, this time to turn the heat up on more alleged fraud within academia. On the heels of his Civil Investigative Demand directed against the University of Virginia, to do with climate-change research, now Cuccinelli has the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in his sights.
So far, no one at the VMFA will go on the record to say what its position is/will be regarding Cuccinelli’s demand to see all records to do with Abstract Expressionism, and abstract art in general, for the last four decades. That includes all emails and doodles in margins.
“Flabbergasted,” was the word that summed up the feelings of an anonymous source within the VMFA, who spoke off-the-record in a dark restaurant a few blocks from the Museum. Cuccinelli’s sweeping demand for information will apparently require thousands of hours of work by VMFA employees.
“I’m no art critic," said Cuccinelli. "This probe isn't about good or bad art, it's about un-art. It’s about fraud. The people who‘ve been handing out grants to their friends and spending the taxpayers' money to exhibit so-called abstract works of art -- stuff that nobody knows for sure what it even means! -- they are now going to have to answer for their dishonesty.”
Cuccinelli, a vocal skeptic of the value of ambiguous art, said he believes it’s mostly a matter of people with no talent for drawing trying to dupe the public into supporting fake art. He suggested the entire concept of abstract art has always "been a hoax." He wondered aloud how much money has been paid to art professors who perpetuated the hoax.
“If they want to sell meaningless paintings and sculpture in prissy private art galleries that’s one thing,” said Cuccinelli, “but when the taxpayers' dollars are used as a social program to redistribute money to slackers who can‘t even draw, well, that‘s where this attorney general draws the line.”
When asked if he planned to go after the art departments at state supported universities that have been teaching students about Abstract Expressionism, etc., Cuccinelli winked, “That’s a question for another day. Hopefully a cooler day.”
Note: Isn't it about time for a little satirical relief from the heat? Here are the two other posts -- here and here -- that actually inspired me to concoct this one for SLANTblog. Who else wants to play?