1961 Piero Manzoni: The Artist’s Shit: the artist sells, essentially, his “shit” in limited edition cans. We all have our favorites: this one’s a favorite of mine.
Of the many things I love about this piece, the most important is that it is the baldest, most hideously obscene insult that has ever been delivered by a piece of art. It falls within a great tradition of biting the hand that feeds, and the subset of that, insulting the audience.
1971 Chris Burden Shoot: A documented performance wherein the artist has his friend shoot him in the arm. You know you love it.
1972 Vito Acconci: Seedbed: A performance / installation wherein Mr. Acconci whispers not-so-sweet somethings while jerking off under the floorboards at the Sonnabend Gallery. How do we know he was really pulling it? Well, there are some pix…
In 1997 when theTurner Prize committee came up with the first all-female shortlist, newspapers instantly lept to attention with such classy headlines as:
‘A woman’s place – is in the gallery’‘The jury’s still out, but where’s the spice, girls?’
‘No sexism, Please; They’re British’
The five times that the short list was all-male were never noted.
There is still speculation about what exactly IS in the cans that Piero Manzoni labeled “freshly preserved” Merde d’Artiste. Some say it’s plaster. Some say pineapple. Some say it’s “something wrapped”. Some say it’s another can, perhaps with something inside it.
Most people are pretty sure it’s not shit, though. Even the artist once told someone that, as the son of a man who worked in a cannery, he certainly wouldn’t have risked canning shit since it would give off methane gas and explode.
Because the work was apparently inspired by an insult from his father, who said Manzoni’s art was shit, one can assume that no matter what’s in the can, there are still some who will insist that the label’s authenticity needn’t be questioned.
NYC DEPT OF BUILDINGS CALLS SHEPARD FAIREY’S MURAL A ‘SMALL BUILDING’
Animal New York’s Bucky Turco , reports that the NYC Department of Buildings has apparently pasted STOP WORK papers to the side wall of Shepard Fairey‘s mural on Houston Street. The claim that the “small building” was put up without a license would seem to be a joke, but the papers, one signed by Deric Lee, Manhattan Borough Commisioner, look real enough (although I have my doubts about the Large Caps).
Meantime, the wall has been tagged already and even broken through, so that part of the previous Os Gemeos shows through.
But, alas, the beleagered artist can’t get an ounce of respect as even the destruction of his wall is held up as a possble publicity stunt.
“Because I’m straddling the line between all these different worlds — the fine art world, the street art world, commercial design, fashion — I think I’m a target for a lot of narrow-minded people who just aren’t comfortable with my multiplatform approach. If that’s how they express their view is by vandalizing my mural, that’s fair. I assume that they think that putting a bullet hole through it is a clever interactive addition, which I actually agree with.”