The spectrum of Ways Artists Talk About Their Work starts with pedantic over-explaining, and ends with pedantic silence. Since both of those suck, grab work from an artist who just says all kinds of crazy crap, Chicago's own Derek Erdman.
With childlike glee, Erdman tackles subjects from presidential mullets to Bill Cosby's apparent marijuana habit with vibrantly painted works on wood, offering explanations that paint the artist himself as a magnificent wackjob. Chi & Midwest portraits include ex-Chicago Reader art director Sheila Sachs ("$1 from the proceeds of this painting will go directly to Sheila herself, who knew?"), Yankee Hotel Foxtrot cover stars the Marina Towers (which remind Derek of corn cobs, and thus he'll never enter, though "Children On The Corn is a pretty good movie for 1984", and Prince, to whom as a child Derek was exposed by a rich neighbor spinning "Erotic City" ("Looking back now, I think I could have probably pressed charges"). Oh, and there's more: a Beavis & Butt-head-style drawing in which "Obviously dipicted [sic] is California resident Tim Cook and beleaguered Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich running QUICKLY from Canada-based doughnut chain Tim Horton's"; "Bad Man", an Oliver Wendell Holmes take originally commissioned by an NU law student ("also featured in...The Pelican Brief, A Few Good Men, 12 Angry Men & Anatomy Of A Murder. I'M JUST JOKING IT WAS NOT IN THOSE MOVIES"); and Charles Manson rocking a blue Cubs hat ("At the jail in which he is incarcerated his fantasy team AWESOME ATWA came in 2nd place, which is pretty good").
The rest of the oeuvre is similarly perplexing, notably the Paul McCartney job "Bananas Yeah Yeah Yeah" ("Paul McCartney is wild about non-meat food items. He also divorced a one-legged woman"). While the work's available online, "If you live in the Chicago area you are welcome to visit my studio to pick this item up after you buy it. I'll make tea and scones, NO JOKE". Indeed, Derek Erdman.