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The Art World Redefined Through Contemporary Slang

A recent article in The Guardian brought attention to Urban Dictionary entries that redefine the giants of literature through contemporary slang. They range from the stupid (JK Rowling: being under the effects of cannabis (J) and ketamine (K)), to the sublime (Kerouac: to wander aimlessly for the giddy thrill). The New York Daily News cited the entries as being a “history of literature as seen by millions of 17-year-olds today,” but as The Guardian points out, some familiarity with the writer’s canon is required to make the quips successful — which means there has to be some literacy at play here.

We wanted to see if the same rules applied to the art world, so we clung to our brain cells (just in case) and went digging through Urban Dictionary’s website for slang versions of famous artists and related works. See what we found past the break, and let us know if you have your own redefinitions to contribute. (Diebenkorn, for instance, is just screaming for appropriation.)

Picasso

“A typically negative term describing a person who appears attractive from one angle, such as the back or side, but from another angle they do not look how you expected them to look.”

“I thought that guy standing at the bar was really hot but when he turned around, he was a total Picasso.”

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