SATIRE – New section: Academic Essay of the Week

Stephen Armica screams in excitement of the blank white wall art.

Illustration by Nowshin Chowdhury

Stephen Armica screams in excitement of the blank white wall art.

This week, we will be introducing a new section to The Oakland Post that features academic essays from the humanities departments, for reasons we’ll admit later.

This week’s winner is Stephen Armica, a senior undecided major who wrote a review for his art history class on the Oakland University’s Art Gallery’s current exhibition.

Armica said his review, which was on a work of art that he chose to focus on, will be spent glorifying one piece “in every conceivable way 350 words can shower praise onto a work of pure ecstasy.”

The work of pure ecstasy Armica is referring to is called “Celestial Lights on a Static Plane.” Originally a blank space on the wall, the piece was put on display two weeks after the exhibition’s opening, while the title and materials label mistakenly remained throughout the duration of the event.

To clarify, Stephen Armica is writing an art review about a blank wall, and he paid us to publish it.

And since $20 is $20 more than The Oakland Post already had . . . Here you are:

“What can I say about ‘Celestial Lights on a Static Plane’ that hasn’t already been said about nature, the universe and even God himself? Nothing. This piece represents all of these in all of their stupendous glory.

Dear reader, I’m here to talk about the beauty, the awe and the tears that were caused by this beautiful work of art. It caused one of the most important existential moments of my life, with a tinge of eroticism, from a work of hyper-abstract expressionism.

Let me start with its composition. It’s big. The piece covers the entire gallery with its compassionate watch over the viewer. Now, I’m not a religious man, but this piece showed me that there truly is something benevolent and good that cares about me from the heavenly connection in the starry dynamo.

And the color. A dazzling white that follows you like a summer sunshine through the pouring rain. It’s the color of God’s love. It’s the color of milk from my mother’s breast (by the way, I was breastfed until I was 4.) And it’s the color of pure, untouched light.

Themes? Try everything. This piece is an all-encompassing magnum opus of pure unadulterated intellectual euphoria. And its mood is the same.

But this piece doesn’t happen without its conflict. I see wars and death just as much as I see the light. This piece, while beautiful, is honest and true in its message. It does not ignore the hell on earth that human existence is heir to. The artist creates and destroys, just like Shiva on his final rampage against man’s greed, before creating again the beautiful that remains idiosyncratic to our universe.

This piece took me from a hardened criminal with a past darker than this piece’s depictions into a picture of success. Since I saw this piece, I’ve adopted six children from impoverished war-torn countries and enrolled them in the best schools. I even created a foundation that will benefit my community, and I started a scholarship for Jewish youth. Why Jewish youth? You’ll just have to see the piece for yourself to find out.”