Images from the New Humor Book, "Is That a Picasso on Your Fridge?"

humor, funny books, kids drawings
Check out this funny new book filled with analysis of kids' drawings by self-proclaimed "art expert" Dan Consiglio.

Dan Consiglio, author of The New Dad from A to Z and founder of the blog What My Kids’ Art Says, has written his third book, Is That a Picasso on Your Fridge?: Kids’ “Masterpieces” Critiqued by an “Art Expert”.

Consiglio says of his new humor collection, “Art is often misunderstood and misinterpreted. But I have the trained eye to see the difference between the work of an idiot savant and a kid who’s just not that gifted. And don’t think for a minute I don’t know what I’m talking about. I see what others simply cannot. I have always been aware of my gift — despite being thrice rejected from the Art Institute of Chicago, and twice expelled from the West Des Moines Society for Making Art Fun.”

The images in Consiglio’s book, drawn by kids from around the country, are funny by themselves, but take on added hilarity when viewed alongside the author’s interpretation of the work. Here’s a preview of what you’ll find in Is That a Picasso on Your Fridge?, available for pre-order now and in bookstores later this month:

  • “Pick Me Up” – papers in Starbucks cup 1 of 12
    "Pick Me Up" -  papers in Starbucks cup
    Seattle's resident pop culturist and scathing intellect Troy, age 5, has brewed up a delight with Pick Me Up. Troy doesn't drink the Starbucks hype; this cup isn't half empty, but filled to the brim with what he sees as corporate greed. Troy's cup overflows with his indictment of American marketing, a common staple tarted up and whored out like a happy pill.
  • “I Know a Lot!” – Fine-tip marker on paper 2 of 12
    "I Know a Lot!" -  Fine-tip marker on paper
    Tell us, do you know how a warm spring day feels after an endless dark winter? Do you know the simple joy of a brisk morning walk? Do you know what it's like to hold a loved one who's battling a nameless disease, day in and day out? No, Snowman, you know how it feels to judge: to sit and stare through cold, lifeless black eyes beneath a preposterous top hat, scarf guarding no neck, and cast off anything and everything that falls outside your comfort zone.
  • “Angel of Death” – Painted porcelain sculpture 3 of 12
    "Angel of Death" - Painted porcelain sculpture
    By Tatum, age 7, Evanston, Illinois. Let the nightmares begin.
  • “Mad at Mommy” – Paint on parchment paper 4 of 12
    "Mad at Mommy" - Paint on parchment paper
    Originally a modernist movement in poetry and painting, expressionism is continually sprouting new branches. And although the work has varied, the core tenets of the movement hold true: expressionists seek to evoke meaning with no regard to physical reality. Nowhere is that more evident than in Day Care Expressionism.
  • “Leader of All Evil Things” – Pencil on paper 5 of 12
    "Leader of All Evil Things" - Pencil on paper
    There's a lot going on here: the juxtaposition of the demonesque character donning festive holiday garb; the bulbous pig nose, Fu Manchu, and razor-sharp eyeteeth. Never one to drop a metaphor without a smile, Ryan has given us one concrete reason for this individual madness: you try fastening sixteen tiny buttons with one hand and a sickle.
  • “Tree of Life” – Finger paint on construction paper 6 of 12
    "Tree of Life" - Finger paint on construction paper
    Tree of Life is a massive title for a young soul, but when your first painting, God as Caterpillar, triggers an outcry from none other than the Vatican, you tend to feel that "big" may just be your birthright. The inclusion of a blowfish at lower right is interesting, if not a bit bizarre, and serves as what is fast becoming a trademark of the Midwestern artist: tried and true logic challenged by linear-thought-breaking randomness. As in all her outdoor works, Stevee leaves the grass high, a nod to her fear of lawn mowers.
  • “Blue Mat Full of Cars” – Installation 7 of 12
    "Blue Mat Full of Cars" - Installation
    Blue Mat Full of Cars, an intriguing live installation piece, challenges our very notion of the state of childhood "play." Ty, age 3, has managed to coalesce the chaos of the playroom with the serenity of nap time. Trucks, cars, planes—those symbols of male toddler aggression—line a yoga mat with rock garden precision. The result is oddly satisfying, a vision of delicate balance. Seconds after this photo was taken, Ty smashed the entire setup with a toy hockey stick before spilling his juice and soiling himself.
  • “Sticky-Stick #3: Curse of the Kitty” – Stickers 8 of 12
    "Sticky-Stick #3: Curse of the Kitty" - Stickers
    It's the once-in-a-generation artist who so cleanly eschews all schools and movements to create so viscerally from unchecked emotion. While stickers may not be entirely fresh ground, it's the concentration and layering that transcend the tired "pee-pee reward chart" and lays claim to higher ground. Delicious details like the cow back-heeling the soccer ball under the watchful eye of the duck create mini-stories that add depth but never detract from the gorgeous whole.
  • “Angry Grimace Jellyfish” – Marker and crayon 9 of 12
    "Angry Grimace Jellyfish" -  Marker and crayon
    Angry Grimace Jellyfish ends where it begins—with an angry jellyfish resembling McDonaldland's Grimace dancing on an air mattress that has somehow sunk to the bottom of the sea. The only thing left to question is the emerging fecal matter with arms.
  • “Mrs. Johnson” – Crayon and pencil 10 of 12
    "Mrs. Johnson" - Crayon and pencil
    There's a lot to note about this peculiar piece—the freakish yellow skin, the animal-cracker nose, the 57 teeth, and the fact that all this madness is framed in double-edged candles and bones—but nothing ensnares the viewer more than those hollow almond holes. Not since the Mona Lisa have eyes told us so much and so little at the same time.
  • “Our Sky” – Marker on paper 11 of 12
    "Our Sky" -  Marker on paper
    In Our Sky, Audrey, age 4, serves up a veritable smorgasbord of possibilities. There's no question as to whom we're regarding (although the addition of the names is a bit small-town for this reviewer), but what is it that hangs ominously (or divinely?) just above their heads and below the azure sky? Is it the eyes of their maker watching over them? Two birds and free souls shadowing their human frames? Or two enormous, sagging breasts?
  • “Shitstorm” – Charcoal on paper 12 of 12
    "Shitstorm" - Charcoal on paper
    By Jeremy, age 3, from Wichita, Kansas. Jeremy's otherworldly debut is the brave work of a burning young soul. He borrows on traditional Americana (the little house carried away by the twister in The Wizard of Oz) to make a much larger point about the chaotic state of affairs in modern America—a frenzied place that would surely bunch Auntie Em's considerable housedress. These days, the little home can only hope to be swept up and carried to a better place, he suggests. There is no man behind the curtain. There is no Oz. There is only the shitstorm, Toto.

All images and text excerpted with permission from Is That a Picasso on Your Fridge?: Kids’ “Masterpieces” Critiqued by an “Art Expert”.


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