The State Of Contemporary Childhood

My daughter draws people – people she knows, such as her brother, her teacher, her grandparents, her friends, and the parents of her friends – in a loose, vulgar style, more reminiscent of outsider art than traditional illustration. Her eye is drawn to appendages, which she multiplies exponentially until every figure has ten, twenty arms, preposterously longs legs that make everyone taller than the buildings they are standing next to (the buildings are always squat, grey, windowless, and on fire), and sexual organs that seem as if they are in the process of melting or disintegrating or a combination of the two. My daughter believes herself to be the spiritual heir to R. Crumb – her choice of subject matter is equally inconsequential – but her drawings lack the complexity and wit of her hero. The “I think it looks interesting” that my daughter excuses herself with is about as fresh as a shit-stained diaper, and reveals more about the state of contemporary childhood than anything else.

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