The modern artists of the world, at a recent gallery opening in Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art, merely displayed a huge sign reading “April Fools.”

Art critics immediately hailed the work as “one of the greatest accomplishments of our time.” A press conference was held by the artists responsible in order to explain the work.

“We aren’t kidding,” Juan Miro said, as he opened the conference. “It really is a big joke.”

When Miro began to speak again, his snickering and and stifled giggles distracted from his speech, until finally he collapsed laughing.

At this point, Jackson Pollock, another modern artist, took the stage, and attempted to explain the situation further.

“It all began with Picasso,” he said, “Picasso made a bet with [artist] Salvador [Dali], and basically, Picasso claimed that he could paint absolute crap, worse than the drawings of a six year old, and not only would people not suspect that it was bad, but they would praise its genius.”

“Dali took the bet ? which was for a mere 50 pesetas ? and was later forced to pay up.”

Pollock then told of Picasso’s revelation. “Picasso basically said, “This is the best racket yet. I get paid a ton to scribble on paper.”

And so the tragic history of modern “art” began. Picasso let a few other artists in on his little scam and the “modern art” movement began to spread.

What is now being referred to as the “largest April Fools prank since the invention of the joy-buzzer,” has led to a string of art critics racing to condemn paintings they had heralded before it is too late.

“I knew it all along,” said art critic Frederick Wolfland, “it was blatantly obvious that the so-called artwork was really a sham.”

Modern “artists” ? if we can call them that ? are planning to release a book of all the press clippings and a list of all the books which praised their works.

“I can’t believe we got away with it for this long,” Miro laughed, “I thought for sure we would get caught when Warhol released his now famous Campbell’s soup can.”

“Or the movie of the Sears Tower ? can you believe it? I mean, we’re talking 24 hours of just a building. A building!”

Dean of Torture, Ken “The Rock” Ensies placed all of art on summary disciplinary probation. This incident has also prompted him to investigate I.M. Pei’s work at the UR as, perhaps, a hoax as well.

One group of reporters was so cemented into accepting whatever bilge the artists put forth, they were attempting to proclaim the press conference itself as a masterwork of art.

When asked why they revealed it now, Miro explained, “I felt guilty taking money from you rubes. This way, it’s your fault, not mine. My favorite part of the whole thing,” he said, “was when I found a some blue felt on the ground, and sold it for several hundred thousand dollars.”

Miro then broke down, but regained his composure after fifteen minutes of wild laughter and closed the conference by saying, “Suckers.”

Johns can be reached by phone at 1-800-fun time.

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