Let me Warn you Away from the
Although no actual cusswords are used in this essay, this article is nonetheless probably inappropriate for young readers. Frequent reference will be made to excrement, i.e., the art, writing, and personality of David Bailey. Teachers and parents, do NOT share this page with delicate-minded, polite, or normally giggly kids.
A Note about the Use of Copyrighted Materials here: All quotes and images shown here are the minimum size needed to convey the points made about them in the commentary. All copyrighted portions of images and writing shown here are legal, and part of normal critique practices under U.S. copyright law, and as described (for example) in Wikipedia's "fair use" doctrine. Although David Bailey has complained that their use here is a breach of copyright law, it's hot air and nonsense like the rest of D.B.'s writing. If Hollywood and silly people like David Bailey could refuse critics the legal right to show small samples of copyrighted work, then the majority of the negative reviews film, book, speech, and so on would be illegal.
| Note: Silhouette #4 deserves a special Bronx cheer, because it was bad when Escher did it first in 1936, and
when Bailey copied it. It's blocky, unfinished-looking, and stiffly posed like the artwork of a 7-year-old forced to use a crayon and a ruler. Yet he says (quote)
"As such, this motif should self evidently be seen as of an intrinsically high quality, as 'proportionally' it is well nigh perfect in this aspect, of which such an achievement is notoriously difficult. Indeed, of all my motifs[...] I rate this particular example most highly, a superlative, an 'all-time favourite' of mine."
Now let's talk about his writing. This falls into two categories: insulting reviews of other tessellation artists, and self-important ramblings about how tessellation ought to be done-- in his opinion. In all his writing, his chief goal is to make himself look better than other tessellation artists. He writes so badly, and is so insulting towards the reader and the good tessellation artists, that his strategy backfires as spectacularly as hiring chainsmokers to work in a fireworks factory.
His reviews of other artists, his art, and his opinions about tessellation might as well be written upon toilet tissue, since toilet paper is cheap, quickly thrown away, and purpose-built to take that kind of cr_p. It's a perfect media-fits-message match. I hope my writing doesn't come too late to protect new readers and other artists' fragile egos from his poison pen.
On the other hand, if you're not easily bored and you enjoy a bit of unintentional humor, try reading David Bailey's review of Husimi's work:
"...a shape with cartoon-like dog-like elements. Husimi purports to show an Escher-like tessellation, arising from his 'rolling' process, of a creature probably intended as a dog. A dog? Where? The perspective conflicts are numerous here. Just about every element is in conflict, of a variety of viewpoints. The ears are anatomically incorrect, the front and back legs combine. It has no nose, and if all that is not enough, it is sloppily drawn. What can one say?"
David Bailey doesn't mind being extremely rude when he tears into the shortcomings he imagines in others' work. That's one reason I'm writing this review: DB desperately needs a dose of his own medicine, because his mother neglected to spank him during his formative years, when he failed to learn the rules of polite society.
Meanwhile, Bailey has a huge blind spot for all these shortcomings in his own work. David Bailey's trash talk and trash art are a neat proof that people in crass houses shouldn't throw stones.
David Bailey, you're too rude, you're an egomaniac, and you're a hack artist with skills lower than untied shoelaces.
Dear reader, take a look at Bailey's dog tessellation. Can you see the basic problem? It's not merely that someone so incapable of drawing a dog is pretending to be an expert. No, apparently David Bailey is forced to remind the world's less talented artists (that is, everybody) that in his universe-- that is, the only important universe-- dogs have tusks, their legs are awkwardly tie-strapped together like they're being kidnapped, their ears have been pulled out of their skulls by the roots, tails haven't been discovered yet, and their fur comes in exciting rainbow colors like green and violet.
David lives in a special world, doesn't he.
Bailey's artlessness in writing isn't merely rudeness. Bailey flings so much of his poo over his garden wall that he has no time nor leftover fertilizer for his own garden, but there's a big lack of writing skill too. His craptastic grammar, vocabulary, spelling, and logic would be funny, if they weren't wrapped around a rude, untrue message and a twisted, egomaniacal messenger. Let me give you an example. Read through this roadkill of creative writing from David Bailey's pathetic poison pen:
"Although three colours would suffice, four are utilised so as to be compatabible with the four orientations of the motif. Three colours would be 'inelegant' as according to the inherent symmetry."
The underlines are mine. The words are his....especially the word "compatabible". My dictionary claims "compatabible" isn't a word, but for the sake of argument let's pretend it's a word in the Baileyverse. My guess is, it means "two people from the same church", but I could be wrong; my dictionary and I only understand American English.
How about Bailey's use of the word "utilize"? The Chicago Manual of Style and the Associated Press Style Guide both tell writers to use "use", not "utilize". Did you know, there's a journalism professor in America who puts "utilize" in his first class lecture so he can spot the students most likely to succeed. They are the ones who wince when he says "utilize".
"Utilize" is US$100 used to buy a stick of bubble gum. In 99.9% of its uses, it means the same as "use"; it's just an overweight, faux highbrow way to say "use". It's the same as wearing a tuxedo when you clean your bathroom: it doesn't make you look smarter, just silly and pretentious. "Utilize" is a safety valve and warning siren placed on puffed-up posing little prats pretending to be professors. Like the safety valves on overpressurized steam engines' boilers, these prats use "utilize" to often let off a few extra syllables of steam and other hot gasses so that their overinflated egos don't explode...and as a warning to wary listeners to stay far out of range.
If there's a tiny shade of difference in meaning between"use" and "utilize", it's that once a decade "utilize" means "use" in the sense of an object being used in an unexpected way.... like using a pizza box as a frisbee, a sharp seashell as a knife, or an imaginary rainbow tusk-dog's tusk like a can opener. Bailey doesn't know this about the word "utilize"; he's only using the word to puff up his pretentious posturing.
That Bailey paragraph I quoted ends with the sentence "Three colours would be 'inelegant' as according to the inherent symmetry." Ummm... "as according to"? Does that sentence make sense to you? Maybe he's talking in tongues, but none of those tongues are compata-babble with English. I think maybe he wants to say that using 3 colors would not be a good fit with that tessellation pattern. However, if that were true, then when Bailey, creator of rainbow tusk-dogs, tries to dispense color advice, we should hear the collective wincing and sound of a hundred other artists kicking Bailey under the table to make him stop. Bailey isn't an authority on color. No, his color sense is borrowed from a carnival clown. His work and words are a powerful proof that the world desperately needs tongue-handcuffs and fashion police...or at least a proof that some brats don't grow up; they just grow older.
Yep, David Bailey's writing is full of big words he doesn't understand, made-up words nobody else understands, and grammar+logic so fouled up that its broken, twisted, and confused threads remind me of the last time my cat got into my sewing kit.
Another fun Baileyism is his use of "a magnitude of quality below...". Almost every tessellation artist whose work he reviews, he deigns to call "a magnitude of quality below the others in his field". If he knows what "a magnitude" means, then his illogic defies the math of averages. It also highlights Bailey's need to insult the work of others, even when his insulting reviews are patently unrealistic. Is he dumb enough to think that pro tessellation artists could be pro yet only be a magnitude of quality below (= 1/10th as good as) the average pro talent? If we swallow that fiction, does Bailey also ask us to believe that somewhere there's a huge cache of better artists whom Bailey has not reviewed, whose skill can balance out the average? ..Or is Bailey, the Nut House Napoleon of tessellation art, hoping we'll believe that his art is so spectacular that it alone can balance the average?
Let me end the suspense: He's not that good. Hell, he's not even average. He is, in fact, firmly in the category of substandard tessellation artists. Take a look, if you have a strong stomach, at his awkward, straightedge, misproportioned flock of unrecognizable bird tessellations that are barely a step away from abstract sharp-cornered boxes and plus-signs. As for his rainbow-colored tusk-dogs, let's only consider them "anatomically correct art" if rainbow tusk-dogs appear in the next Muppet or Star Wars movie.
Are you entertained? Do you want more? Why, for pity's sake?
Let me point out that David Bailey hopes his writing will be taken seriously. He sees himself as the arbiter and defender of good tessellation art, like a Rottweiler defending a jewel, not as we see him: the yappy little lapdog mutt defending his chewtoy from the neighbors' dogs. We shouldn't laugh, therefore, when he fires off garbled insults at nice, well-respected popular tessellation artists and writers. Rather, pity his targets and pray that they don't take him seriously. When you can, ignore him; when you can't, fire back mercilessly.
"Normally, I would not deign to discuss or include such examples[....][W]hat arouses my ire and separates Beyer and the above is that her tessellations are shown in a sumptuously produced book, with the impression that her tessellations are given from a position of authority on the subject. Further 'credence' to this is giving by the author stating 'Thank you … to Doris Schattsneider for [her] advice' (hopefully this was for the other, non-Escher chapters). Aside from this, external factors, such as the books' review on Amazon, where it is given 5-star reviews, thus further contributes to this impression. Therefore, on the face of it, this is a book of undoubted substance and worth. This being so, one has a right to expect the contents to live up to its production and billing, which sadly is not the case. The tessellations are quite frankly execrable, and show a complete lack of understanding of the issues. This sorry state of affairs simply cannot be allowed to remain unchallenged."
So basically, Bailey, an artless hack and self-appointed pundit, is jealous of Jinny Beyer's success, and can't reconcile her book's popularity with his deep-seated feeling that his own sh_t doesn't stink. The public has voted in favor of Beyer, not Bailey, and Bailey's nuthouse Napoleon personality can't accept that.
David Bailey, take your reality cues from Amazon's public voting system: Jinny's book is good and very well liked. Your opinion of her, yourself, and so on...well, that world-view is as far from the reality as a Disney character is from the planetoid Pluto. David Bailey, your worldview is far from "Pluto" and a lot closer to "Goofy".
Now let's thoroughly spank Bailey while holding up his mirror so he can see his own artless work in the same manner he uses when he misranks other artists. We'll use David Bailey's review of respected author Jinny Beyer's butterfly tessellations to hoist Bailey by his own petard.
On second thought, no, no... let's not hoist Bailey by his own petard, because he needs slamming down, not hoisting aloft... and anyway, nobody remembers what a "petard" is. (No, it is not the stupid housepet you get from inbred rainbow tusk-dogs. ...I think.)
Instead, let's hammer Bailey with his own hammer. In the paragraph below, please note where I've written [sic] to let you know where the spelling and grammar errors are Bailey's, not mine. The arrogance and hypocrisy are his, as well:
"Another decidedly weak point is [sic] the 'butterfly' motifs. Although at first glance these may be thought to of true worth,[sic] as a [sic] apparently plausible butterfly is shown, [sic] in reality they are not so as they are anatomically incorrect. Simply stated, a real-life butterfly has wings that taper noticeably from top to bottom, rather than of 'equal halves' as here. Furthermore, this is unlikely to be of here [sic] own work, and is probably based on Escher's own Butterfly (No.12), and so is not truly original. (Note that Escher's own butterfly has anatomical inaccuracy). That said, as stylised butterflies, than [sic] a case can be made for these as regards 'worthiness' [sic] in the broader sense. However, against this is the relative ease of creating such motifs, of which [sic] these are decidedly simple to undertake [sic]. Simply stated, one or two examples of this kind is [sic] enough. However, Beyer again repeats herself, and shows no less than four further examples. Again, the impression is given that these are thus more worthy. What is the point?"
Good grief. The hypocrisy is deeper in David's mind than ice is in the Antarctic. Let's look at the last few lines: "Simply stated, one or two examples of this kind is enough. However, Beyer [...] shows no less than four further examples. Again, the impression is given that these are thus more worthy." Now click here, and see a page on which David Bailey has vomited forth no less than EIGHTEEN minor variations on his vile, mediocre tessellation "Birds and Fish 2". Let's hope nobody drowned in that septic tank overflow. Clearly, nobody pays to get into a David Bailey art exhibition. No, they pay to get out. For an extra laugh, note that Bailey writes at the top "A detailed discussion will appear shortly."
Why reveal your inadequacies and warped perspective in "a detailed discussion", David, when syrup of ipecac would have the same main effect, but without the nasty side effects? Heck, if I really want to get sick to my stomach, I could just listen to American politics or go out drinking. That'd be a lot more fun than listening to Baileyisms.
Let's get back to Jinny Beyer's work. It won't make you sick, and it might make you smile.
In a balanced, objective assessment you'd have to keep in mind that Jinny Beyer's book, "Designing Tessellations", is an a) introductory text for b) quilters. Therefore, it's very likely a) full of art simplified for beginners, not masterpieces.A wise teacher doesn't hold up the Mona Lisa in front of beginners and say "Today, produce something as good as this." No, a good teacher shows his students an upward staircase made of many small achievable steps, not a cliff face of insurmountable height. He doesn't clobber his students' egos by confronting them with something they can't achieve soon after today's lesson. Also, b) one doesn't expect to find fine detailed lines in a quilt. Quilting is by definition broad and thick, not like fine needlepoint or sketches. Working in patched-together cloth necessitates avoiding fine detail, so we're not going to see in any quilters' book a gallery of baroque filligree, fine detail, and finesse with teeny linework.
So, right away, David Bailey is blaming Jinny Beyers because...why? ..Because she hasn't brought a laser-sighting, night-scope machine gun when she wants to teach archery. Shame on him.
But hey, let's compare his tessellation art with hers. Judge for yourself who's better...and whether Jinny Beyers deserves any of David Bailey's jealous monkeyhouse poo-flinging.
Excerpt from Birds and Fish by Jinny Beyer
Excerpt from Birds and Fish II by David Bailey
Next, look at the two main points of his criticism: 1) Jinny's butterflies aren't anatomically perfect. (Remember: neither were Escher's; they were stylized.) 2) She reuses the basic tessellation pattern in several pieces of art, with only small changes in that pattern. That's a sin in David's Big Book of Baileyisms, because it implies she likes a pattern (for whatever reason) that he doesn't.
Yet... David Bailey does these same two things constantly. He doesn't admit the hypocrisy between his sniping of others and his failure to follow his own rulebook. Look for example at the bird tessellations that are about two thirds of his total art portfolio: more than half of those bird tessellations are painfully blocky, misproportioned, thick, twisted-limbed things Bailey insist are birds. Almost all those misbegotten, boring, unrecognizable, pitiable birds are based on slight alterations of a thick, misshappen plus-sign.
David Bailey, while you're shoveling sh_te over your garden wall into your respected neighbors' reputations, be sure to reserve and savor, spoonful by spoonful, a whole shackful of that sh_te for yourself.
Earlier I said that Bailey doesn't see the point in encouraging kids. He hates children's art. He doesn't understand why an adult should praise a child's first efforts. He only wants to criticise all art based on the same adult, pro-only standard. Do you understand me? Using this same standard, he'd be in the audience booing at a children's ball game, because the kids aren't as good as Manchester United, or the New York Yankees, or the New Zealand All Blacks. Let's hope he never has kids of his own, because they'd be clubbed to death by the bombings of his opinions of their earliest efforts. David Bailey doesn't want to reward or encourage others-- no, he ONLY wants to be worshipped and elevated above others, to be seen as a valued artist and snob opinionmaker.
I hope, dear reader, that when your children come home with messy fingerpaintings of something that the kids say is a house and a flower in the sun, you beam with pride, find something praiseworthy in the art, and tape the picture to your fridge door for all visitors to see. I hope you remember that an imperfect child, if rewarded for the good in him, will beam with pride and learn to do more good, and may grow up to be a perfect adult....in art, in morals... in anything. ...And if he's not Einstein or DaVinci, he'll at least be doing well according to his abilities.
This brings us nicely to comparing David Bailey with that other deluded despot. That other self-appointed master of the universe is the fictional king-god of Pointland in Flatland, the 1884 satirical novella by the English schoolmaster Edwin Abbott Abbott.
If you haven't yet read Flatland, read this:
"[T]he Sphere visits him again, this time to introduce him to Pointland. The point (sole inhabitant, monarch, and universe in one) perceives any attempt at communicating with him as simply being a thought originating in his own mind (cf. Solipsism):
" 'You see,' said my Teacher, 'how little your words have done. So far as the Monarch [of Pointland] understand them at all, he accepts them as his own-- for he cannot conceive of any other except himself-- and plumes himself upon the variety of Its Thought as an instance of creative Power. Let us leave this God of Pointland to the ignorant fruition of his omnipresence and omniscience: nothing that you or I can do can rescue him from his self-satisfaction.' "
Bailey's trying to uplift himself by ignoring or abasing any part of the world which rises above him: he hopes to leave himself as the only contender for the title of "best" tessellation artist, by the simpleminded strategy of trying to convince us that the work of his betters isn't, by definition, tessellation... or not better... or at best not good tessellation.
We've already read some of his attacks on his betters. Now let's look at his rules about what makes a good tessellation. His list of silly Baileyism rules for Tessellation include:
In fact, David Bailey routinely lists himself in the category of "best five tessellation artists alive today", and calls that group "Bailey et al". Unfounded ego like that usually appears under a Napoleon hat, a few inches above a straight jacket. It's a Leonardo da Vinci ego stapled to stick-figure art. It's a helium high in a puddle of piddle.
Bailey has much to be humble about.
He'd rather blow his own horn. Hornblowing like this isn't beautiful music in his peers' ears. Usually it's insulting, or just irritating. Sometimes, though, it manages to be so stupid that it's entertaining.
For example, recently Bailey was searching for an interesting original tessellatin idea to write about and call his own. What did he decide to write about? He wrote a long essay about whether a turd..sorry, bird... or fish tessellation ought to have shines in the animals' eyes. Newsflash for David Bailey: NOBODY CARES. It's a silly triviality, your opinion is worthless, and it's a complete waste of the poor electrons who died flinging their bodies across Cyberspace to deliver your silly, empty essay. That writing was about as useful as advice from the blind about which color the soles of your shoes should be.
In fact, let's just pity all the electrons, graph paper, and pointy violet crayons that Bailey has wasted in paining us with his artless art, witless writing, and pretentious pontification. Let's hope that this rattling rude essay of mine will someday wake up Bailey, like the rattle of the nurse's keys might wake a nuthouse Napoleon who snores out both ends while he sleeps and dreams of being king. Maybe then we'll get something useful out of him: a humble apology, or at least an embarrassed silence.
In the meantime, avoid David Bailey because he's as nutty as a squirrel's outhouse, as full of himself as a black hole, and as lacking in real tessellation ability and understanding as a kindergartener with her first crayons. The tessellation art community respects Bailey the way a dog respects a bog: he steers 'round it, doesn't see any good in it, and wishes it weren't there.