10 Artists and the Jobs They Will Thrive at After They Fail as Artists

We hypothetically fire ten leading contemporary artists and predict what line of work they would excel in.

In every interview, there is a moment when the artist is asked, “What would you do if you weren’t an artist?” The artist inevitably answers, [extremely artist voice]: “It’s all I know how to do.” Here, we hypothetically fire them, and send them out in the world to sow their oats to use the skills they learned in their respective studios.

1. Jordan Wolfson

Lands a job heading up efforts to revitalise the Hall of Presidents at the Epcot Center. First order of business: making robot Lincoln dance suggestively and having robot Gerald Ford beat the crap out of robot George W. Bush for no reason.

2. Amalia Ulman

Joins the Royal Pigeon Racing Association as a fancier, trains a winning pigeon and becomes the first Argentina-born trainer enshrined in the American Pigeon Museum. Her acceptance speech consists of just one word: “Coo.”

3. Jack Pierson

Hires himself out to kidnappers to write their ransom notes.

4. Lucien Smith

Turns to firefighting with great success, but disappears after putting out over 6,300 fires in his first two years on the job. He comes out of nowhere to put out a blazing condo building in Red Hook, drawing the ire of other firefighters, who all wish they could have so easily saved the lives of the rich.

5. Hito Steyerl

Accepts a contract from the German government to be a counter-cyberterrorism agent, becomes disillusioned and shifts careers into choreographing dance moves for EDM music videos.

6. Sophie Calle

Uses her past experience to get jobs as an exotic dancer, a private investigator and a psychic. Later, she combines her skills to predict who will be visiting the strip clubs she works in and how much they have in their bank accounts. Using these funds, she opens a monochromatic- food restaurant chain called Leviathan.

7. Martine Syms

Becomes head writer for a sitcom TV show about anaesthesiologists on Netflix that runs for 12 seasons. She continues to be a graphic designer on the side.

8. Raymond Pettibon

Gets drafted by the New York Mets to play in the outfield with Tim Tebow. He doesn’t show up to spring training. His older brother, Black Flag guitarist Greg Ginn, finds him smoking a deadly concoction of banana peels and nutmeg on their reunion tour bus.

9. Awol Erizku

Starts a fancy pregnancy photography business, which becomes such a hit that Awol Erizku’s Beyoncé-Approved Pregnancy Photography™ kiosks are installed in every Walmart the world over.

10. Anicka Yi

Anicka Yi is employed by a shadowy pharma-giant to develop a scent for their laundry detergent that will make people fall in love. It’s a success, but there are horrible side effects when a man in Florida falls in love with a goat that has eaten a part of a recently washed shirt.

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