KANSAS CITY—”Look,” said 10-year-old Marina as she squirted ketchup on the floor. “Jackson Pollock.”
But Marina is no Jackson Pollock. In fact, she is better than Pollock. Whereas Pollock’s 1948 masterpiece, “No. 5”, reportedly was sold for 165.4 million dollars in 2006, Tanya’s “No. 500” is estimated to be worth 173 million dollars. The nearly priceless work currently hangs in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The rest of her works are on display at The Guggenheim.
Marina is a straight-A student and one of five legendary artists at Faxon Elementary School, a bastion of artistic rebels and intellectual iconoclasts. Like her colleagues, she can do whatever she pleases. Last year, she threw a baseball into the principal’s office on purpose so that she would be sent to detention, during which she crawled onto a ceiling light fixture and refused to come down for three days.
Dozens of parents and teachers cheered and clapped as she finally descended, albeit in a semi-starved state. Her father, her biggest fan, exclaimed as she hit the floor, “Now that’s what I call performance art!”
“Theatre is fake … The knife is not real, the blood is not real, and the emotions are not real. Performance is just the opposite: the knife is real, the blood is real, and the emotions are real,” Marina said to a crowd of nodding heads. “And that’s how I am inspired to do my next work. Hot dogs are fake. Hamburgers are fake. But when I squirt ketchup and mustard on the floor like this—look! Look! Look!—that’s real.”
“As parents, we have a responsibility to ensure that our children flourish,” said Marina’s father, Peter Depardieu. “You don’t wanna try to make an oak tree grow like a willow, or have a cactus grow like a euphorb. Likewise, our children have a tendency to grow in their own ways, and we must encourage that lest we get another generation of boring, average Americans.”
Unfortunately, not everyone at the school sympathizes with Mr. Depardieu. Some of Marina’s less talented peers have been banned by the school from making art because they just “make a mess,” as some teachers put it. “I tried to tell teachers to allow my friends to do whatever they want as well,” she said. “But my friends get B’s and C’s, so they’ll just get in trouble if they do that.”
Some of those less-than-stellar students are already considered juvenile delinquents who have no hope in life. One was sent to a mental institution for squirting relish on walls.
On a more positive note, Marina announced that her next work will involve charcoal, walnut oil, and deodorized dog pee.