by Robert Boyd
John Waters, Headline #1, 2006. C-print, 22.5 x 98 inches, edition of 5
This show is of filmmaker John Waters' artwork is on view at McClain Gallery for just a few more days. And I have a review of it at Temporary Art Review. CHEGGITOUT!
Do you really believe that Waters would need to tone down his humor in order to make it in contemporary art? I think this work is wonderful, and should have no problems fitting into its own place in the art world, with humor or without. Nor do I think contemporary art is so humorless as to require him toning anything down. Maybe it's true that "most" contemporary art is not what you'd call funny, ha-ha-ha, but a good amount is. Off the top of my head I'm thinking of Cindy Sherman, John Currin, Mike Kelley, Richard Prince ... and holy cow ... wait, c'mon ... Maurizio Cattelan??? The man's entire career, right? I might even put Paul McCarthy in there too, maybe William Pope.L as well. You can call some of these artists sarcastic, acerbic, acidic, absurdist, or intentionally subversive, but when seen in a certain light, they're pretty damn funny (in the sense of laughing with them, not at them). And Bruce Nauman. Did you see his Menil show a while back? How about his photo named Fountain? Or his video of walking around on a square? Or installing a fence post? (That wasn't at the Menil; I saw that in Fort Worth a few years back if I'm not mistaken). Call it tongue-in-cheek if you want, but I don't think humor is a kiss of death, and if Waters continues to work on his new passion, we may see a permanent career change in a few years. I guess he's pulling a Reverse Schnabel. What do you think?ReplyDelete
Actually, I was being deliberately hyperbolic. Definitely humor is is more acceptable now than it has been in the past. And that's a good thing.ReplyDelete