Jersey Shorr, Art Critic
By Mike Stevens
“It looks like the contents of my stomach after having Haggis for dinner, and launching my cookies!” So began Jersey Shorr’s column in ‘Art from Around the Globe’ monthly magazine. Shorr was an art critic, and much feared by artists everywhere, for his opinion could make or break an upcoming artist. The piece he was savaging was a new watercolor by Merle Locke, and it would be the dagger in the heart for any hopes of Mr. Locke being accepted as an artistic talent.
The hall was filled with art from around the world. Anxious artists paced behind their work, keeping a nervous eye out for the arrival of Jersey Shorr, who’s opinion of their artwork mattered most. It was billed as, ‘The biggest collection of amateur artwork on the east coast!’, but in reality it was all for the benefit of Mr. Shorr. Of all the people who would view their artwork, his was the only truly important opinion, for it would reach thousands of the readers of ‘Art from Around the Globe’ magazine, and those readers would buy their work, and spread the word that so and so was a real up and comer in the artistic community. Jersey Shorr at last swept into the hall, and all eyes went automatically to him, as he gazed around the hall.
“I’ll say this, it’s a wonderful image of a donkey riding a unicycle, although it is more suited to a velvet poster at a carnival than at this art showing!” he said of the first piece he was critiquing. The artist, a middle-aged man, answered with not a little hurt in his voice,
“It’s a picture of my dear departed mother sitting in a chair, enjoying the first rays of the morning sun out the window next to the dining room table.”
“Oh, well that may be, but all I see is an a** riding a one-wheeled bike! Rubbish!”
The angered artist replied hotly, “I don’t see how a person like you EVER became an important art critic!”
“Oh sure, lash out at someone just because you don’t have the smallest glimmer of artistic talent!”
Jersey Shorr moved on to the next piece. As he gazed on a painting of a floral arrangement with one of his eyes, he noticed there was a burned-out light bulb high above the hall with the other. He couldn’t see very well any more, but was reluctant to say anything because he had attained the summit of the lofty peaks of the art world, and was now very well paid. If he said he couldn’t see, he’d have to find work for minimum wage working the graveyard shift at ‘Fill Your Tank, and Fill your Face’ mini-market! So, he kept up the pretence of normalcy, while trying not to let the fact he was now cross eyed become known. Just then, he was spun around by a claw-like hand, which gripped his shirt.
“You sightless b*****d! Who do you think you are, belittling me and the memory of my dear mother?” asked the artist of the piece he’d just got through ripping.
“Well, I tell you, if my mother looked like an a**, I sure as hell wouldn’t paint he---” then the lights went out in his world.