Amy Poehler Makes a Mean Art Dealer

Amy Poehler plays art dealer.
Photo: YouTube screen grab.

Few communities are more ripe for parody than the art world. So we were thrilled when ArtFCity tipped us off to hilarious outtakes (embedded below) from Amy Poehler’s unfortunately much less hilarious Old Navy commercial. Clad in head-to-toe black with a blunt bob, thick glasses, and major heels (the vibe is either Edith Head or Edna Mode, depending on the age of the beholder), Poehler manages to lampoon the art world in less than 50 seconds.

In the role of the stereotypical art dealer steeped in both debt and pretension, Poehler tries to explain contemporary art to a denim-clad model in the least helpful manner possible. Her gallery is filled with nebulous blue and gray canvases, on which she expounds thusly: “This piece is aggressive, it’s dangerous, it’s stupid. And that’s why I like it,” and “This is entitled Blue Box. It’s about the civil war. Obviously.”

Some other gems? “This piece was made on a ship, and then shipped to a car, and then driven to a plane.” And, finally, Poehler on collecting: “This is a challenging piece, and it would be good for your collection. It’s so stupid it’s hard to understand, and that can be interesting.” Sounds like something we overheard at Frieze.

The short outtakes reel is comic gold of Portlandia-esque proportions. The finalized commercial has cut out almost all of Poehler’s best lines, though admittedly this level of art world satire might be lost on Old Navy shoppers.

Watch Amy Poehler ridicule art world pretension:

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