The dramatic mood of the work is comic, beset by existential worry. It’s as if each picture wondered, “What am I? Am I even art? O.K., but what does that mean?”Schjeldahl calls Oehlen "the foremost painter of the era that has seen painting decline as the chief medium of new art."
Painting was once very important. Isn't it strange that the foremost painter of our era is someone you've never probably never heard of and who even when you're told he's the foremost painter you probably don't even care enough to click to see what the hell that awful, comic, beset-by-existential-worry thing looks like?