Monday, June 11, 2012


I find that the most compelling  artists often riff on ideas like transience/permanence, conceptualization/manifestation,  verism/subjective truth,  etc.  That most people don't care at at about those shifting realities seems of little consequence to those who equate "faithful" visual representation as the pinnacle of  "serious"  art-making.  Given a general mindset that still requires the above criteria  to be labelled as "Art",  we are faced with an endless production of what can only be labelled "s**t art".  Whether produced for therapeutic purposes,  be they physical or mental,  there is still a glut of bad sunsets,  ill-conceived abstractions,  and overly cute pet portraits.  With this mind,  a look back at Italian conceptualist Piero Manzoni's "Artist's Shit" (1961)  is strangely instructive. The cans' exacting measurement,  presentation,  production,  and sale make for an intriguing critique of both art-making and the art market.  Our 21st century frenzy of capitalist desire without any thought of consequence make this "art" nearly emblematic of those desires.  Strangely enough,  the richness of these objects is seen in their ability to spark speculation,  transformation,  and ultimately,  poetry.  Now that really is quite the improvement over a mundane sunset.

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