Thursday, November 17, 2011

Andy Warhol: Mel Smothers [66]

Mel Smothers
NYC, New York, USA

I read in the New York Times that Andy Warhol’s ocean side estate at Montauk, New York was recently sold, so, I made a point of driving out from California to get a feel for the place.

Fifty years ago, Andy was a very busy guy in New York City, he was famous and he was mass producing contemporary art from the images he found in the N. Y. Times.

Montauk wasn’t on Andy’s calendar much. I took a look around and began painting Andy ‘postcards’ thinking he would have liked that.

"Andy Dialog#222," 10x10", oil on canvas, Mel Smothers 2011

In addition, Mel wrote (included here with his permission):

I hope you are not another clever, growing number of emails arriving to my inbox indicated they have selected my work. My excitement turns to disappointment when I discover they are asking for money from any emerging artists, playing on artists hopes and dreams,and offering so little in return.

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Biennial Project Plays With The Big Boys!: The Biennial Project [65]


THE BIENNIAL PROJECT has been asked to submit work for the MOBIUS PROSTITUTION OF ART project. What a coup this is! COLLABORATING with MOBIUS means we’re not just a bunch of silly fools who find ourselves way too entertaining anymore – we’re ARTISTS! IMPORTANT ARTISTS! And it's just so totally symbolic of our growing success within the art world to be elevated to the level of BOSTON’S ELITE PERFORMING ART TROUPE. Take that, dreary naysayers – MUCH COOLER PEOPLE THAN YOU like us, really LIKE us!

OK now, kids, calm down a little - it’s too early for the champagne. We've got to focus. With greater success comes greater challenges, greater responsibility. We're performing on the BIG STAGE now - we've got to produce IMPORTANT WORK. Think now.....THE PROSTITUTION OF ART. We must come up with something meaningful, or they might not like us anymore. One day you're IN, and the next day you're OUT!

THE PROSTITUTION OF ART..... What are they going for here? They must feel that it's a bad thing. After all, prostitution IS kind of gross....yucky diseases and all. True love and artistic collaboration are much better - like Selma Hayek and Diego Rivera in that movie. But then, he cheated on her a fair amount and also really let himself go, so that wasn't all that great. But still as a general rule prostitution has to be bad, so we should say something against it. But then again prostitutes are usually women and it's not really all their fault, so maybe if we come out against it we’ll look all anti-feminist-theory, and that certainly wouldn't do. Wow, this IMPORTANT ART thing is more complicated than it looks.

OK, let's look at their blog and see if we can get any ideas. Hmm, lots of cool work by lots of cool artists, kind of intimidating - it would take a lot of time to actually check it all out. That would be hard. Oh good - they have a definition of prostitution here. ‘Pros·ti·tute / ˈprästəˌt(y)oōt/ • n. a person, typically a woman, who engages in sexual activity for payment....’ Just like we thought. After that, there are some other definitions, but again, too much reading to get to them.

FINALLY, an idea is coming to us…. We'll BE the prostitutes - embody the dilemmas inherent in the act of prostitution; thereby reflecting on the nature of gender, identity and commerce in a society that objectifies women and devalues artists – forcing the viewer to confront their own conflicted emotions on the subjects of art, sex and capitalism, etc. – we’ll throw in some other stuff as it comes to us – now we feel a GREAT ARTIST STATEMENT coming on!

Ok, we’ve done the hard part, all that’s left is to put on some trashy clothes and hang out at a truck stop embodying our inner hookers. Whoever thinks this being a serious artist thing is all fun and games has obviously never met The Biennial Project!

THE RESULTS! [Cue Donna Summer]:

ADDENDUM - Apparently this being a hooker thing is way easier than it looks. With no formal training or life-related experience to speak of (as sluts, yes of course - but as whores per se, no), we had multiple offers to “tap that” - and our suggested rate of “one for $15, two for $20” was deemed acceptable by several passersby. It’s good to know we’ll have something to fall back on if this art thing doesn’t work out!