Artist Rob O'Flanagan signing his own exhibit guest book

The exhibit comment book – an untapped resource

My friend Rob O’Flanagan, a wonderful painter and writer, recently had an exhibition of paintings in Guelph, Ontario.

A few days ago he posted on facebook a transcript of the comments from his guest book – and I have to admit one these lines was my contribution. I’ve always found comment books to be full of creativity and dry wit – practically a collaborative dada poem.

Find the full text below:

Artist Rob O'Flanagan signing his own exhibit guest book

Artist Rob O'Flanagan signing his own exhibit guest book

We got pregnant!

Mutual of Omaha.

So this is art???

Life is exciting…even if I can’t draw.

How sweet it is,

commie artist sex trap.


Once upon a time,

there was a delicious and deeply

sensual man whose manhood

was threatened by vaginas!

Ones with teeth.


Can’t believe that my job

got replaced by a human.

Robots need love too!

They want to be loved by you.


Hey. You there. DO IT!

YOU are beautiful.


Your art inspires me to

be wacky and crazy.

So much depends upon

a red wheel barrow

glazed with rain water

beside the white chickens

Always turn your face

to the sun.


More will be revealed



One comment

  1. Flavio Belli · August 27, 2011

    Not quite the same thing as a comments book but maybe of similar interest:
    “Lists: To-Dos, Illustrated Inventories, Collected Thoughts, and Other Artists’ Enumerations from the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art”

    Fans of art-world ephemera should put this absorbing show at the top of their must-see list. The range of artists—and the stuff they obsessively tracked—is eclectic: The nineteenth-century painter George Catlin’s record of American Indian games includes “Canoe race” and “Scalp Dance, Sioux,” and the twentieth-century realist Adolf Konrad’s delightfully illustrated packing list comprises paint tubes, brushes, socks, and a copy of “Europe on $5 a Day.” The modernist John Graham, in his 1937 pocket diary, scribbled itineraries alongside whimsical doodles, while Leo Castelli used his gallery’s notepaper to remind him to buy razors and call Warhol. Other treasures include Grant Wood’s stark 1931 list of economic depressions, and the abstract painter Joan Snyder’s free-associative response to the question “What is Feminist Art?,” in 1976. Most touching is the architect Eero Saarinen’s accounting of his future wife’s twelve best qualities, naming her generosity (twice), her beautiful body, and the fact that she is “fantastically efficient.” Through Oct. 2. at the (Pierpont) Morgan Library NYC (The New Yorker Magazine)

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