An Open Letter to Justin Davenport III

It seems my former-colleague Justin Davenport III has completely lost his marbles. Literally! Oh, what a fine collection of marbles he once had. This posting is a reply to his critique of my opinions about patronage and art.

Dear Sir,

Ah Professor Doctor Davenport III, my arch-nemesis, if you don't get your act together and at least get some sort of a laboratory again, I may have to demote you to ordinary-nemesis and neither.

In response to your whimsical, vagabond's philosophy I say this:

You may be right to believe that in your deprivation art appears to you viscerally and with great vigor -- as common folk often say, 'absence makes the heart grow fonder.'

HOWEVER, while you may now experience more beauty, this effect takes place only within your subjective experience of the art and the art itself remains unchanged. While you greedily fortify your personal experience of art, you are setting your treasures at great risk, leaving them in the hands of some unscrupulous Barnum or money-hungry Bailey. I own and catalogue art not for such selfish ends as my own personal pleasure, but because I firmly believe great art to be an end in itself.

Does your heart not sing out with regret, now that you consider how your art, once protected in your vast, fire-proof warehouses, might at any moment be consumed in some sort of conflagration?

What's more, without men like myself and your former self how is the world to distinguish between high-art and the vulgar pantomimes of commoners? It's true that you enjoy art now more than you did previously, but in your desperation can you still differentiate between a Man Ray and an Ann Geddes? Have not the lower classes already plagued our culture with professional wrestling, country music and hip hop? Those poor uneducated, unfortunates seem to actually appreciate this chicanery.

Oh, Justin Davenport III, please, I beseech thee, pull yourself up by your bootstraps, kick your dirty addiction to experiencing pure art, untainted by financial interests, and return to your previous position as an arch-nemesis worthy of mention.

Col. Matteus Von Mustard
Director of the Matteus Foundation for Buying A lot of Art and Locking it Away


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