This week's therapy-focused episode of Keeping up With the Kardashians was one for the books, an instant-klassic that, while perhaps not rising to the level of Kardashian Therapy Parts I and II, is surely on par with episodes like the one where Khloé made Lamar a "love tape." The show's plot points this week included Kourtney's beef with her sisters and an appearance from a Kim-obsessed Ukrainian billionaire. But it was Khloé who gave us true innovation, in the form of the simple, beautiful concept of "art shaming."
While sitting in Kris Jenner's home office, Khloé asked her mother about some small gold balloon animal sculptures on a bookshelf. "Those are Jeff Koons," said Jenner, in a tone that clearly implied she expected Khloé to be familiar with the artist. When Khloé asked who Koons was, Jenner said "he's famous for the 'Balloon Dog'... you need to go to, like, an art class."
Koons, a blockbuster artist, is indeed famous for his "Balloon Dog" sculptures. But Khloé was insulted by Jenner's disdainful explanation. "Just because I'm not as knowledgeable as you, you shouldn't turn your nose up," she said. "You should be like, 'Well, Khloé, Jeff Koons is...' instead of making me feel less than and uneducated."
Khloé said Jenner was "art shaming" her. "You can't art shame people just because they know less than you," she said. "I'm your f---ing daughter and you're art shaming me and it's mean."
The episode went on to show Khloé and Scott Disick playing an art-themed prank on Jenner, convincing her that she needs to purchase works from a famous artist named "Art Vandelay." She falls for it, purchasing color splatter paintings that Khloé makes on her hands and knees in her garage. Jenner is clearly not a Seinfeld fan.
We feel that "art shaming" is a fantastic phrase that should be used regularly, especially when responding to pretentious men. Someone laughs at you for not knowing that NADA was closing? "You can't art shame me." There are eyerolls when you can't pronounce "Lehman Mauppin?" "You can't art shame me." You are mocked for purchasing Jeff Koons sculptures in the first place? "You can't art shame me."
Thank you, Khloé.
Update: On August 16th, Artnet News' National Art Critic Ben Davis reached out with an urgent update — Kris Jenner was in the wrong, and her piece is not actually a Koons. Jenner's sculpture is gold, and, as Davis reports, Koons' "Balloon Dogs" come in five colors: blue, magenta, orange, red, and yellow. Retailers carry countless replicas of the work, and Davis thinks Jenner's closely resembles a sold-out painted resin version from home goods company Imm-Living, carried at Neiman Marcus. The Imm-Living homepage currently advertises several versions of the "Balloon Dog." Koons may want to alert his lawyers.