Struggling visual artists will often attempt to make up for a lack of discernible talent, individuality, or originality by choosing a controversial subject. This is hardly surprising, as true artistic insight is incredibly rare. Not everyone can be a Kandinsky, Pollack, or Van Gogh.

One such artist attempting to generate interest via shocking subjects to cover up her unimaginative use of color and wooden presentation is Kate Kretz, who has recently attempted to raise her profile with a series of six paintings she calls “Gunlicker.”

The first two paintings in the series frankly aren’t very interesting as art.

Gunlicker I

Stylistically, there is nothing notable in either image. They’re both pedestrian, rote and cliched, and even the technical execution of her work is questionable, with flawed, cartoonish perspectives and inconsistent lighting.

Gunlicker II

About the only “worth” in Kretz’s images is in what they reveal about the way she feels about gun owners, or at the least way she thinks she’s supposed to feel in order to appeal to her target audience.

Clearly, she’s doing nothing more than echoing the tired cliche of gun owners being unsophisticated and unwashed with an homoerotic fascination for firearms, a sentiment shared by her fellow travelers.

Amusingly, she’s probably got her audience perfectly figured out.

She’ll probably find someone in Manhattan or Los Angeles who shares her smug biases and lack of an eye for aesthetics who will buy her paintings for their shock value alone. It’s an old schtick, but it moves the work of otherwise forgettable artists.

Kretz’s prior bid for tabloid relevance came almost a decade ago when she created a painting of Angelina Jolie as the Virgin Mary hovering over shoppers in Walmart.

I have every confidence that Kretz’s work will one day be displayed in a place of honor in the Gawker bathroom.

May she enjoy the sad little bit of celebrity that she’s earned.