I’ve always been of the somewhat opinion that contemporary art is a bunch of massive wank. My appreciation always halted at Lichtenstein, or sometimes Warhol, but after that it’s always rather pissed me off than anything else. Compared to the actual skill and talent of the classics, I have been all WTF is with painting a canvas black (I can do that), smack a $20,000 price tag on it and call it art because the art resides in what is not on the canvas. Piss off.
Anyway, this is all up until I visited MONA and ermagherd some artworks actually made me feel shit. Quite a surprise. If you haven’t been, you totally need to go to Tasmania and check this out! It’s pretty much a museum of art that’s the private collection of this gambling guru, so there’s a mix of old awesome stuff and weird ass contemporary shit (like literally a shit machine. Literally. It eats and poops. Art.)
So after my visit, there’s a few artists that I have been obsessing about since then. I couldn’t be bothered to provide my review cos that’s not what I’m writing about. If you like creepy Silent Hillesque shit, check out Patricia Piccinini or Berlinde De Bruyckere. I’ve always been a bit of a morbid unicorn, there’s just a certain beauty in the seemingly twisted and grotesque artworks. I’m loving it.
One particular artist I’m obsessing about and have had epiphanies (well, not really, but felt something something) about life and all that kinda crap is Andres Serrano. He’s a famous and hectic controversial photographer, where he’s used a lot of bodily fluids in photos (think Metallica Load and Reload album covers! That’s his blood and spooge!), as well as taken photos of the Klu Klux Klan and homeless people. “Controversial”, but again there’s just a different perspective and beauty to his art where for the first time I actually appreciate a photographer, where most I’ve met are super duper wankers.
I’m not so much interested in all that work mentioned above, but he did a project called The Morgue Series (Cause of Death). Pretty much he had access to a morgue and took photos of some dead people. But seriously, it’s not as crass or horrible as it first sounds. I’m not going to post any of the pictures here because everyone has difference experiences and thoughts and feelings on death, but I saw one of these photos at Mona and it just made me feel…..not numb. Even for a moment.
Click here if you want to see Blood Transfusion Resulting in AIDS by Andres Serrano, the picture that has made me think and feel and shit. I’ve never really been scared of death, I’ve always felt a somewhat peaceful release associated with it, and this picture, as well as the others, still manages to capture the soul and life of going to the other side…
SO! Here’s where the lamebo part comes in. I went to a friend’s party on the weekend and an old mate, who used to be legit cool and nice and down to earth back in school days, but now is a massive wanker photographer (who mainly takes hipster wedding photos and glamour shots of his girlfriend) sits down to have a chat. He starts the usual mundane “what’s been happening, what you doing etc” conversation, but me being adverse to that boring bullcrap small talk, bring up Andres Serrano.
“OMG ArtWank, you know Andres Serrano right? He’s super famous, if you haven’t you really need to check his shit out as a photographer. He takes photos of spooge and dead people, but man there’s a strange magic to what he does. Look him up!”
He googles the name, sees the picture of Piss Christ, looks at me weird, and then totally does the “uhh… I have to go over here now”.
What. A. Wanker. Like, okay so you don’t have to like it, but I always feel that, particularly in the art world, you should always be open and perhaps know your art? Know your competition? Be aware of other modes of creation, instead of living in your own bubble of what you do? And moreover, screw you for being a wanker! You used to be cool with my inherent strange conversations but now you’re just allergic to fun.
I’ve gotten used to weirding people out with my morbid obscurity, but seriously. Open your mind.
ON an unrelated matter, totally re-discovering The Smiths. Where were they when I was a hopelessly melancholic teenager? (Who am I trying to kid saying was lol only change is I’ve got more wrinkles and saggy tits now…)
Nonsense Unicorn over and out