Saturday, July 3, 2010

The Aristocrats

With hopes to completely forget Andres Serrano's mouth and the entire last episode of Work of Art (save Abdi's if-Daumier-made-sculptures-of-black-men heads), here is a short list of shock artist greats in no particular order:

Duchamp: Image: Étant donnés assemblage (view through exterior door), 1946

Ryan Trecartin: This guy is a force of nature. Hyper technology, mass hysteria, family drama. Please run for public office! Video: Part 1 of 5, Family Finds Entertainment

Gunter Brus: He and Otto Muhl pioneered Viennese Actionism ('body art' before it was painted Sports Illustrated models or mud-smeared hippies). My husband and I had the odd pleasure of meeting Mr. Brus in Bruges a couple of years ago. The photographic documentations of his performances are particularly strong; he used black paint which, when seen in black and white film, may or may not be blood. Image: Self Painting #2, 1964

Charlie White: Combining CGI monsters, greased-up adolescents, muppets, and transvestites can never, ever be wrong. It's difficult to choose just one image. His website is here and videos here. Image: Getting Lindsay Linton, 2001

Paul McCarthy: Still, Piccadilly Circus, 2003. Painter is a classic and my all-time favorite video.


  1. Claire,
    Haven't seen the new episode actually just watched my first two episodes of Work of Art. I have to say its somewhat entertaining but with a level of cheese that I'm not sure about. Also, not really diggin' China Chow as the host. However, it was a shock and fun to see artist Peregrine Hoing on the tube. I met her once or twice in Kansas City at various art openings. Can't wait to see Serrano make a fool out of himself (it won't be the first or the last that's for sure) I had the pleasure of seeing him dodge questions about his art during a Q@A after he lectured at the University of Missouri-Columbia. Then we all went out for drinks after and watched him hit on numerous girls throughout the evening. There are more stories about him acting like a jackass that night but I can't remember the details.

  2. It is so, so entertaining. Lots of cheese. I have an old buddy on the show, Abdi Farah (I'm quite partial to him), and I'm not missing an episode even though I'm having to use torrents.

    All in all, I'm not against a show like this... just hope that folks keep in mind that it is entertainment television and not an accurate account of contemporary art culture, at least I hope not.

    Let me know when you see the shock art episode, Nick! I'd like to rant.