The Wit and Wisdom of Brian–an occasional series

Brian Kenny and his artwork.

Brian Kenny and his artwork.

I have a friend (shocking, it’s true) named Brian Kenny. Brian is an accomplished artist and sculptor. He was profiled in the New York Times and in Art News, and his work has been exhibited numerous times since the 1990’s. A couple years ago when I was doing the Sex & Politics radio show, he came on to talk about his work. There’s a photo up top of Brian standing with some of the assemblage work he’s done.

Anyway, you should buy some of his art because he’d give me a kickback (not hardly). But if he were doing more art and making money at it, he’d probably have more time to log his observations about the cluelessness of his fellow carbon-based intelligent life forms. But since he doesn’t have a blog and I do, I thought I’d post some of his observations here. I should point out that Brian works in an arts job when he isn’t doing his own work, and his organization seems to attract those who are a few sandwiches short of a picnic.  Among other things, he is always on the lookout for art forgeries, so this probably feeds a cynical world view. Then again, a snarky view of the world is a joy forever. 


October 27:

It’s been another fairly typical, highly professional day at work, although I have already had three conversations in which the word “penis’ was used more than twice. It seems perfectly ordinary here, but trying to explain these things to non-art-professionals never seems to make any sense. So I won’t even try.

October 26:

Dear Time Warner Cable;

Thank-you for your email reminder that my payment is past due. Your bill arrived on Saturday, the day you say it was due. Please stop doing that.
Whenever someone says “government should be run more like a business”, you are the nightmare business that springs to mind, and No, I don’t want that.

October 15

This morning I paid for my morning coffee with a 5 dollar bill. The cashier said “That comes to $2.78.” and then hands me $2.78. I said “Um, no. I’m CHARGED $2.78. I only get $2.22 back as change.” This was stunning news to him, and insisted I was wrong. I calmly explained how the math worked, and gave him back 56 cents. He kind of whimpered “I’ve been doing that all morning! You’re the first person to notice!” I wasn’t a bit surprised…

October 10:

Welcome to my life; I’m the guy who has to say “Um…no.” There is nothing about this that would ever suggest Pieter de Hooch. If I had a nickel for every treasure hunter who ever asked me if a thrift shop find was a genuine masterpiece, I’d be a wealthy man today, but they’d still be broke.

September 14:

To those wondering why there has been no “Bizarre Conversation of the Week/Day” lately; The new school year has just begun, and my office is in the heart of NYU territory. Those kids always supply the oddest source material, but too many friends and acquaintances on FB went to NYU, or had kids who went there, and they are easily offended by anything that seems to demean the school. So, at the risk of offending the few I will avoid posting to the many. However, I would like to point out TWO small things:
1) The phrase is NOT “I have more brains in MY little finger than I have in MY whole body!!” and;
2) It is not possible for a school to “apply for Ivy-League Status” so please stop saying it.
Thank-you. The rant is over. Please go back about your business.

What Brian would probably want me to mention:


Brian's last show was here.

Brian’s last show was here.




  1. Nicely done! Thank you! I would happily think of you as “my Boswell”, but the Collyer Brothers didn’t have a “Boswell”. :-/

    1. I reserve my accolades for anyone who can combine Boswell and the Collyers in the same thought. You have entered my pantheon (such as it is).

      1. Why, thank you! I was unaware there was such a “pantheon”, (and besides Jerry Garcia, I can’t imagine who else is in there) but I’m glad to be in such company (Am I? Should I be? I’ll presume a lot here.) But finding a random connection
        between celebrated personages is my forte! Would you like a reference combining Minnie Mouse and Eleanor Roosevelt? Sam Shepard and Buddy Hackett? I’m your man!

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