Ok. So this topic came across my feed and I thought I would chime in with my personal expert experience.

Do people actually say “I could do that” when viewing the artwork of others?

Yes they do. I’ve witnessed many many times.

I can tell you that contemporary artwork that appears simple or even juvenile is usually the most likely to get the “I could do that” treatment.

The person that says “I could do that” when viewing art is usually tagging along with someone else.

They are a spouse or a friend. A bored husband that would rather be watching football (me too bro).

I can’t blame them. Art events can often be fake plastic flowers.

It could definitely be someone on an art crawl going from gallery to gallery to get free booze. These people are the fucking worst.

But Matt.. What about when you catch people saying “I could do that” about your artwork?

Well, I tap into the martial arts technique catalog in my head then I bounce them the hell out of the gallery.

I was a bouncer you know?

No. I really don’t do that.

Although I have had to bounce people physically out of my gallery before for being drunk obnoxious bros. True story.


Does it piss me off ?

Well, I’m a little offended at first. It’s just a natural reaction.

Then I come to my senses and realize that…

  1. It’s probably a way of saving themselves embarrassment because they really mean “I don’t understand this”
  2. They are probably ignorant about art, technique and materials – which is fine
  3. Trying to confront or engage them is not worth it – at least not to me
  4. This happens to every artist that puts their work out there

PBS breaks all this down further in their artsy fartsy PBS way in the video below.


In the end there will always be people that react to art with the phrase “I could do that”.

If you are that person just stop it. You can’t do this, you won’t do this or will never try doing this.

If you are an artist and someone says “I could do this” about your work don’t sweat it.

It’s not worth your time and you have other shit to worry about. Like talking to people that are genuinely interested in your work.

~ Matt