Critic, performer, painter, and lecturer, Jayson Musson has made a splash on YouTube with his alter ego, Hennessy Youngman. In a series he calls ART THOUGHTZ, Youngman sits in an “alabaster alcove” and delivers laugh out loud funny art critical patter to his audience which he addresses as “Internet.”
The videos which pretend to dispense advice to novice artists and lay people, but which contain a meta-level of art (and art world) criticism, have launched him from relative obscurity to courted celebrity. Recently he has been much sought after for lectures and tours at universities and cultural centers.
So it should be no surprise that, having just begun, he is already “giving back.”
Invited by fine art photographer Marilyn Minter to show work at FAMILY BUSINESS (opened in February by Larry Gogosian, Maurizio Cattelan and Massimiliano Gioni) Youngman has turned curator, deciding to open the floodgates and let all of his fans rush on into the sacred white cube.
Any and all who bring work to 520 W. 21ST ST in Chelsea, NY will be in Hennessy’s “IT’S A SMALL, SMALL WORLD” show; no exceptions.
“IT’S MY WAY OF GIVING BACK TO/ AND THANKING THE INTERNET FOR SUPPORTING AND WATCHING MY SHIT.”
Drop Off Dates:
FRIDAY 3/30 – SUNDAY 4/1
Artwork in every media will be accepted and Mr. Hennessy himself will be there to take them from you.
IT’S A SMALL, SMALL WORLD:
OPENING RECEPTION TUESDAY: 4/3 at 6PM.
A student of philosophy, art history, and media sciences, Corinna Belz is no slouch when it comes to fluffing the brand with some very fine artspeak:
“It became clear to me that a film about a painter must focus on painting. It was the actual work in the artist’s studio that interested me most: the authentic and immediate process of putting paint to canvas, and the instruments, gestures, and movements involved, emotionally as well as physically.”
“From our fly-on-the-wall perspective, we watch the 79-year-old create a series of large-scale abstract canvasses, using fat brushes and a massive squeegee to apply (and then scrape off) layer after layer of brightly colored paint. This mesmerizing footage, of a highly charged process of creation and destruction, turns Belz’s portrait of an artist into a work of art itself.”
But despite the hagiographic PR, and the posty- post- postPOST bandwagon which is sure to follow, I find this film on my absolutely-must-see list.
I’ve always loved Richter for his virtuosity. Before he was making vast gooey abstracts, he went through many techniques (some simultaneously developing), all of them deeply experimental and all of them well executed.
From his ghostly grey early photographic works, to his super real portraits, to his mixed media installations, and finally to his varied experiments with abstraction, he has shown a level of skill and imagination, and even wit, that is rare and, I must say, beautiful.
I wonder, though, at the recent glut of what I call ‘richterisms’ in the abstract art arena: are these new paintings that use dragging and blotting and other forms of paint distress simply about trying to find a way to ground abstract art in method again?
I hope not: because that can’t be done by implementing a bag of tricks. And, face it, composition, color, and texture aren’t conceptual any more so most abstract painting will just come off as decorative (and I mean that in the worst way).
Delish as these super frosted cakes can be, they often come off as clones and dramatic accidents.
But don’t take this as an out and out judgement on all paintings that use these techniques: some, like Jackie Saccoccio, have added their own virtuosity with luminouse clouds of color and more deliberate compostion.
Let me put it this way, any artists who are inspired by Richter should explore virtuosity: and that means, not simply mastering Richter’s techniques, but finding and mastering your own.