Books

Lesson No. 1

WHAT'S THAT? ''The Pee Pee Dance,'' of course, one of 25 ''informative yet aesthetically pleasing'' graphic designs in ''INSTRUCTOART,'' an irreverently spunky collection by Brooklyn artist Matthew Vescovo. Other panels teach you how to air-kiss, flag a waiter, and tip a stripper. WHY? ''Informative communication -- instruction manuals, menu boards, anything associated with the DMV -- has gotten a bad rap,'' says Vescovo, 34. ''I attempt to beautify that.'' WHAT'S HIS INSPIRATION? ''It's just tapping into these things I like to call human truths,'' he says, citing ''The Elevator Fake Out.'' ''After people see that one, it's like they're outing themselves -- 'Oh yeah, I do that.' They're in a rush, and they don't want to wait for the person running to the elevator, so they pretend to push the 'open' button.'' WHAT'S NEXT? An animated version of ''The Elevator Fake Out'' on MTV, which has run Vescovo-based promos since last year's VMAs. HIS GOAL? Cultural ubiquity. ''As soon as I have an Instructo -- Happy Meal,'' he jokes, ''I can retire.''

Originally posted Feb 27, 2004 Published in issue #753 Feb 27, 2004 Order article reprints