These outrageous acts of humanity have us questioning: 'Is It Art?'
Using a paintbrush to place a few strokes of oil on a canvas is so 1990s. Get with the times. If you really want to earn the big bucks and have your parents asking where they went wrong, try out the techniques used by these artists. We guarantee you’ll grab the attention of famous art curators … and local psychologists.
Ball on a Chair
Dedicating a piece of art to your deceased grandpa might be the finest way to commemorate the old fella. It’s sentimental. It’s personal. It’s a means to always remember the lessons and good times shared. Dakota Sica did just that, although his means of remembrance entailed gluing a pair of large, wrinkly balls to the bottom of a wood chair. “Why?” is the question burning in our frontal lobes of logic, but when it comes to art, you can’t define the undefinable — even if it’s a pair of wrinkled nuts hanging from the bottom of a seat. On another note, our editor has requested this be his new chair moving forward.
Body is a Commodity
Popularized by artist Usher’s use of the commodity during the 2014 Art Basel in Miami, the vagina phone charger is yet another magnificent example of supply meeting demand. Burying a phone charger within the vaginal cavity of a naked model, the “Body is a Commodity” exhibit asked viewers to consider “whether using a doll for sexual pleasure commodifies sex more or less immorally than using a real body for amenities that can be monetarily quantified such as energy; the charging of a mobile phone.” Of course, this was all to “exemplify the exchange of simulated sexuality for monetary gain”… because … art?
Innocuous comments on Instagram photos come and go as quickly as the followers who leave them. Unless the comment was left by visual artist Richard Prince, in which case he’ll then take the Instagram post, make a print, and sell that print for a jaw-dropping $100,000. This bold tactic has left Prince with few admirers as fair-practice advocates believe his exhibit, New Portraits, featuring photos of third-party Instagram account photos of seductive women with his comment are a clear violation of fair-use rights. Prince doesn’t care. By leaving a comment on the piece as a form of making art, courts have sided with the artist. Adding insult to injury, his portraits have auctioned for as much as $100,000 — much more than the restraining orders and account suspensions we get for leaving our comments.
The Birth of Baby X
We can only imagine it’s every child’s pipe dream to reminisce over how they were born during a live art exhibit while soaking in a rubber blow-up tub. Ajax is that lucky kid and his mom, artist Marni Kotak, made it all possible. The exhibit, “The Birth of Baby X,” documents the labor and birth of Kotak’s son, Ajax. During labor, Kotak fielded questions from onlookers who became active participants in the actual events as they unfolded. “The Birth of Baby X” was followed up by “Raising Baby X” (2011-ongoing), “Postpartum Depression” (2012) and eventually led to Kotak’s masterpiece, “Mad Meds,” where the mercurial artist showcases her attempt to wean herself off medication. On second thought, maybe she should reconsider the medication.
Any art history major looking to explain the history of art will undoubtedly attest to the uniqueness of the female anatomy as a means of painting. We’d love to hear them explain the elegantly titled “PlopEgg” exhibit by Milo Moire. During an art show in Cologne, Germany, Moire took the less subtle route for painting by placing paint-filled eggs in her vagina, standing above her canvas and then dropping the eggs where they shattered and “pushed the boundaries of art.” Congratulations Moire, you’ve managed to give us the same feeling we experienced when we first witnessed HBO’s Real Sex: pleasantly enthralled yet deeply confused.
Controversial is the name of the game in the art world, especially when you’re a 17-year-old girl vomiting for a living and not in the flower-sheeted bed of a sorority. Millie Brown was young when she first started drinking colored milk and regurgitating it onto a canvas in her two-hour, highly unappetizing performance. Ten years since that special day, she’s amassed a loyal fan collective, hung her work in galleries around the world and was even invited by Lady Gaga to blow chunks on the popstar during her SXSW performance. But success doesn’t come without the detractors, as many criticize Brown’s artwork for condoning bulimia. A petition is calling for Gaga to end her affiliation to Brown because of the controversy, leaving the partnership door open for other celebrities in need of a brand makeover. We’re looking at you, Kanye.