Mathieu Malouf on Cumwizard69420

“In the future, everyone will be gay for 15 minutes”  

I’m afraid to ruin the first European Cumwizard exhibition by explaining why I and so many in the United States have had such a strong positive response to his brilliant, groundbreaking use of painting. While others paint for reasons that remain unclear, Cumwizard paints to be funny online. His work first gained recognition among a podcast/comedy audience on the internet until he was introduced to a more mainstream and traditional art audience last year with a two-person exhibition with Diane Arbus at a prestigious Chelsea gallery. 

Populated by fat old gay men, fat people in general, movie and television characters, the paintings show a mental fixation on homosexuality (Obama Kissing Biden, Well Do You Feel Gay, Punk?, Monkeys), obesity (Shake a Lil Sumthin, Contemplation), mental illness, Italian Americans (many paintings based on The Sopranos) and a myriad of other markers of contemporary life in America. 

Speaking of Italian-Americans (The Sopranos mentioned in the previous paragraph), I was at a talk yesterday at Cipriani’s south street in which Bob Colacello and Donna DeSalvo were discussing Andy Warhol. Warhol once told Bob that the commissioned portraits he produced for select clients throughout the 70’s could be any color the subject wanted them to be, but they all had to be 40” x 40” because the long term goal was to show them all hung in a grid at the Metropolitan Art Museum in a retrospective exhibition called “Portrait of Society”. Donna DeSalvo says she is working on posthumously making that happen because an old friend of hers just joined the Modern and Contemporary Art Department there.  

What such an exhibition would demonstrate is that Andy Warhol’s pioneering work not only anticipated the rise of social media, but made possible an artist like Cumwizard who lives in western PA very close to where Warhol was born, interestingly, and shares an iconically American regimen of art production which consists of waking up everyday to drink coffee (Warhol chewed little bits of oral stimulants), looking at the internet and thinking of funny ideas to sketch on canvas, then watching movies and tv. 

This endlessly inventive, ever-expanding, genius body of work is of the highest caliber and it constitutes a powerful mirror of the times we live in. Of almost any artist I can think of in the past 12 years I’ve been involved with the art world, Cumwizard is the only one that genuinely appeals to an art audience and a non-art public equally, and it’s a very special thing. 

Bodies and signifiers of the American death spiral emerge out of the darkness of creation in bold strokes of color that convey the raw emotion and politically explosive schizophrenia of a fatigued empire plagued with rampant pedophilia, pharmaceuticals, sin, violence, godlessness, radical leftist destruction of our American cities, far right attack on our democracy and mental health crisis. We are teetering on the brink of fascism, fire and ruin just like Weimar Germany but in much, much worse. 

130 years ago, an artist plagued with such pure uncompromising vision of the world would be shunned by society and put away in an insane asylum. Today thanks to the internet, we can experience the fire of artistic creation live as it is happening: Cumwizard the poet is alive, mentally stable and posting many great works weekly. 

 Sure, you could spend a lot of money on vintage, more minimal diaristic art, On Kawara maybe, which pairs well with basically any interior because it’s purely black and white and tastefully conceptual, but do you really want that? For much less, you can buy this entire exhibition. 

 Buy now. Thank you.


- Mathieu Malouf